Pharos-Tribune

Local News

December 17, 2012

Cass police see increase in car thefts

Thieves committing ‘crimes of opportunity,’ detective says

Cass County has seen a string of car burglaries in about the past month, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Tom Heflin said at least 30 vehicles, all of which have been unlocked, have been broken into in the last three weeks. He said most of the thefts have been reported in the southern part of Cass County.

Heflin said the thefts are occurring between 2 and 6 a.m. in unlocked vehicles that are usually parked in the driveways in front of residences. The thieves are gone before the car owners wake up.

“They’re in and out quick,” Heflin said.

The most common items stolen are electronics, GPS systems, cell phones and computers. But Heflin cautioned vehicle owners not to leave anything of value, including any gifts or electronics, in their cars.

If owners write down the serial numbers on equipment like laptops and firearms, Heflin said the police have a better chance finding the items.

The majority of thefts are reported the morning after, but it can sometimes take residents one to two days to notice something is missing, he said.

Heflin added that he believes there are multiple people involved in the thefts.

“I have reason to believe there’s more than one person involved,” Heflin said.

The thefts are a crime of opportunity, Heflin said, because the cars are left unlocked. He also said thefts typically increase near the holidays.

“It always picks up this time of year,” Heflin said.

Heflin said if anyone witnesses a theft in progress, they should call 9-1-1.

If anyone has a tip about the thefts, Heflin said to call the sheriff’s department at 574-753-7800.

“We need to catch these guys and we need the public’s help,” Heflin said.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5148.

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