Community looking twice after series of car break-ins

By Laura Geller - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield police are asking for your help tonight as they investigate a rash of car break-ins at an apartment complex.

Over the course of two nights, thieves took valuables from five different cars all parked in the same area.

Residents tell us they're shocked thieves broke into cars in what they describe as a quiet neighborhood.

In fact, they had no idea there was a crime spree until the management office sent out notices.

Now they're watching their backs, and their valuables.

Nestled off Route 10 in Chester is a tranquil apartment complex described as country club style living.

Justin Lauter has lived at the Rivers Bend Apartment Homes for almost four years.

"It's definitely quiet," he said.

Starting February 17th, that quiet was shattered by the smashing of car windows.

Residents who had parked their vehicles on Eatonburg Lane and Liverpool Circle one night, woke up the next day to find broken windows and missing valuables.

Thieves took GPS units, I-pods, even an electric guitar and amp.

Neighbors tell us the next night, the tires and rims of this Chevy pickup were also taken.

The truck left sitting on cinder blocks.

"It's definitely not something I would expect," said Lauter. "I think people are just having hard times and getting desperate and doing anything they can."

Chesterfield investigators want to remind residents that even if you lock your doors, you need to keep any valuable items out of plain site.

That advice isn't exactly easy to follow with things like custom rims and tires but you can still secure these items.

Police say measures like locking lug nuts will help.

You'd need a special wrench to take off the tires.

Something thieves or anyone else, for that matter, wouldn't be able to access.

Lauter says there is a lot of traffic in and out of the community.

With several other town house developments nearby and an office park just down the street.

"It's definitely disappointing around our home and outside of it," said Lauter. "It's bad that you cant trust the people around you."

Investigators say the thefts occurred on two separate nights and they don't believe the same people are responsible for both incidents.

(c) 2010 WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.