Thieves target neighborhood cars

May 5, 2008 5:11:34 PM PDT
Thieves targeting a Northwest Raleigh neighborhood broke into 30 cars in two nights.

It's a crime alert Raleigh police are investigating and warning the break-ins could spread to other neighborhoods.

The bulk of the 30 break-ins happened on just four streets in Raleigh's Brookhaven neighborhood near Crabtree Valley Mall.

A street of just 12 homes was hit especially hard. Seven homeowners awoke Thursday to the bad news.

"Noticed my jacket lying on the pavement. And I immediately notice the window was broken. And my truck was just a mess. I mean glass all over the place," Victim, Bill Flythe said.

Flythe says they rummaged through his belongings and scattered them up and down the street. But it's obvious what the thieves were targeting all across Brookhaven.

The most common denominator in all the break-ins is GPS units. Police say they are easy to see, easy to steal and popular.

Flythe says the GPS hanging from his windshield is a must-have item for him and apparently for crooks as well.

"That's a new one. They stole my old one. And my strong advice to everyone would be if you don't want something, anything of value, get it out of your car," he said. "Anything you don't want stolen, take it inside at night, particularly your GPS, iPod and especially your garage door opener. That's the gateway to your house."

And the thieves did get iPod's, a .45 automatic pistol and one big ticket item.

One homeowner had a habit of leaving his keys in the ignition, locking his Ford Expedition and using a door mounted keypad to get back in.

The Expedition was stolen along with everything in it.

"It amazes me how much they got done in what was, no doubt, a compressed amount of time. They're very efficient," Flythe said.

Flythe says he hopes everyone will get the simple message Raleigh police have been preaching for the past year --lock, take and hide.


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