Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials urge res­i­dents to lock up af­ter a re­cent string of car break-ins

Mul­ti­ple un­locked ve­hi­cles bur­glar­ized

The Covington News - - Front Page - AM­BER PITTMAN Stsff Re­porter

The num­bers keep grow­ing in the most re­cent rash of en­ter­ing au­tos in the city, and as po­lice in­ves­ti­gate the thefts, they urge res­i­dents to take ex­tra pre­cau­tions to make them­selves harder tar­gets for op­por­tunis­tic thieves.

The thieves struck in the early morn­ing hours of March 22, mak­ing their way through neigh­bor­hoods in a 1-mile ra­dius. Cov­ing­ton Place, South Dear­ing Street, Ash­ley Drive, For­est Drive, Farm­ing­ton Lane, Golf­side Drive, Brooks Cove and Fair­way Lane were all hit hard.

But these weren’t break-ins. The group of thieves (of­fi­cers be­lieve it was a group work­ing to­gether) went house to house try­ing ve­hi­cle doors. In sev­eral cases there was more than one ve­hi­cle at the home, and only those left un­locked were dis­turbed. The amount of re­ported en­tered au­tos is up to 22 with one stolen. The stolen ve­hi­cle was re­cov­ered in Dekalb County and a gun miss­ing from an­other car was found in­side. How­ever, po­lice ex­pect the num­ber of re­ported cases to con­tinue to grow.

“We still feel like there are some peo­ple who don’t re­al­ize they have stuff miss­ing so we want to make sure we con­tinue to get all the in­for­ma­tion we can on it,” said CPD Cap­tain Ken Mal­com Fri­day.

“These were tar­gets of op­por­tu­nity. This group was look­ing for un­locked ve­hi­cles and it was easy for these criminals to com­mit this act…

if you lock your ve­hi­cle at night and a per­son’s de­sire is to steal your valu­ables, they will have to break into your car. When they do that they cre­ate noise which can alert the vic­tim or dis­turb a dog. You just want to make sure you are a harder tar­get and one way to do that is to lock your ve­hi­cle.”

Some ve­hi­cles left un­locked were sim­ply ran­sacked. Oth­ers had mul­ti­ple items taken. In some cases, items taken from one ad­dress were found at an­other, like purses, wal­lets, small amounts of cash and even wrap­pers from stolen candy.

Some peo­ple re­ported that their ve­hi­cles smelled of cig­a­rette smoke when no one in the home was a smoker. In some cases, credit cards stolen had been used in the Litho­nia and Dekalb County area dur­ing the early morn­ing. One stu­dent had col­lected cash from friends to pay for their limo to prom – that was stolen as well.

“Take a mo­ment and think about what criminals are look­ing for,” said Mal­com. “They are look­ing for things they can use to pur­chase goods and things they can re­sell or pawn; any valu­able that can eas­ily be resold.

“There are two types of criminals: preda­tors and op­por­tunists, and there are a lot more op­por­tunists then there are preda­tors and or­ga­nized criminals. This was a group of op­por­tunists… and they reached out for easy tar­gets and you have to do your job to make sure you aren’t an easy tar­get.”

In ad­di­tion to lock­ing ve­hi­cles, Mal­com sug­gested get­ting mo­tion sen­sors on the home or in the yard that will pop on if some­one comes close and hope­fully, de­ter would-be criminals.

Although not all items stolen had a price listed in the in­ci­dent re­ports, those that did came to a to­tal of $3,101.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion is asked to con­tact the CPD tip line at (770) 385-6430 or on­line at www.cov­ing­ton­po­lice.com or through the tip­sub­mit mo­bile app. All tips can be given anony­mously.

Photo il­lus­tra­tion by Gabriel Khouli /The Cov­ing­ton News

In the early morn­ing hours of March 22, thieves made their way through Cov­ing­ton neigh­bor­hoods, check­ing for un­locked ve­hi­cles and tak­ing items.

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