29 AUTO BURGLARIES
3 suspects hit cars in north Manteca
Police: Don’t leave items visible in your car
Criminals went on a spree in the wee hours on Wednesday smashing car windows to commit 29 auto burglaries.
Twenty-three happened in North Manteca neighborhoods south of Lathrop Road that were reported to Manteca Police. Another six occurred in Raymus Village, a subdivision just outside of the Manteca city lim- its northeast of the Highway 99 and Lathrop Road interchange. Information provided by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department has led Manteca Police to conclude the incidents within the city limits are related.
Video surveillance was obtained from residences in the areas where the vehicle burglaries occurred. The video indicates three suspects were involved.
The auto burglaries from Wednesday were almost a tenth of all such incidents in Manteca during the first seven months of the year. Auto burglaries from January through July were down 19.66 percent for the same period in 2016 going from 351 to 282.
Police remind residents that “auto burglary is a crime of opportunity.” It takes just seconds to smash a window and grab something. It’s a crime that you can reduce the chances of you becoming a victim of greatly if you don’t leave things in view, even a towel.
And if you don’t believe a towel or an empty box can prompt a criminal to break your car’s window, just ask former Police Chief Charlie Halford who learned the hard way that thieves don’t have X-ray vision.
He had gone to the theater complex a few years back that was located in the Manteca Marketplace where Big Lots is today. He left nothing of value in view in his SUV although there was an empty box.
When he came out of the movie criminals had shattered a window to grab the box.
Police see over and over again how criminals will see anything like a gym bag or loose change and if they can break into your vehicle without being detected to see if it is anything of value they will do it.
Even if you lose nothing of value, the window replacement typically runs in excess of $200.
Even placing items in your trunk may not save you from being a victim of theft.
Every year in Manteca shopping center parking lots people have purchases stolen from their trunk. That’s because criminals will wait patiently to see who comes in and out of stores. If they see you come out, place items in your trunk, and then go into another store they will wait until you are inside and them jimmy open the trunk or smash the driver’s window and release the trunk latch.
This video shows one of the suspects in a hooded sweatshirt near a vehicle parked in the driveway of a residence. The orange, 2-door car pictured in the background is the suspect vehicle.