Rachel Richardson reports:
A spike in the number of automobile break-ins – up to 17 in one night – has prompted police in the neighboring city of Mason to warn residents: If you like it, lock it.
Police say that 28 break-ins have been reported in several of the city’s northwest neighborhoods that border West Chester, including Birchwood Farms, Codington Reserve and Hickory Woods.
Most of the break-ins occur at night to vehicles simply left unlocked, said Mason Det. Sgt. Jerome Deidesheimer.
“Nobody deserves to be a victim or expect to have their stuff stolen, but it’s an easy target,” he said. “There’s been no smashing of the windows or breaking into the vehicles. Simply locking the door will prevent it.”
Cars parked on the street and even in home driveways are being targeted, police warn.
The most common items stolen are GPS units, iPods, loose change, sunglasses and wallets, said Deidesheimer. “It’s stuff that can be turned around really quick for cash,” he said.
Police say they don’t believe the suspects are local, but rather are being dropped off in the neighborhoods and later picked back up.
“Unless you’re out and about on foot, it’s hard to catch these guys,” said Deidesheimer.
Police are stepping up foot patrols, surveillance activity and patrols by unmarked vehicles in the areas, he said.
Police are advising residents to keep possessions hidden from plain view in their vehicles. Other basic precautions include: locking your car, parking in your garage if possible, and calling police if you notice anything unusual in your neighborhood: 9-1-1 for emergencies or 513-925-2525 for non-emergencies.
“It may not seem like much, but some things are more than what they appear,” a news release said, adding: “Information from alert citizens often leads to arrests…Mason police officers would rather respond to a dozen calls that lead to nothing than not get the one call that would help them catch a thief.”
Janice Morse contributed