Thieves break into dozens of cars in the Fan and West End

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Thieves were on a rampage in The Fan and Richmond's West End and if you've been a victim of a recent break-in, you are certainly not alone. Richmond Police said crooks took iPods, GPS units, cell phones and digital cameras out of dozens of cars from Hanover, Patterson, Park Avenues and even some areas they haven't yet identified.

Richmond Police said the two men responsible for breaking into dozens upon dozens of mostly unlocked cars are behind bars. They credit a concerned citizen who was looking out for his neighbors.

In the Third Precinct, the neighbors are definitely keeping watch. Early Monday morning police got a phone call saying at that very moment, someone was breaking into a car. Officers hurried to the 3500 block of Hanover Avenue armed with a detailed description of the suspects.

"As soon as they saw the matching description, they turned around and attempted to make a traffic stop of that vehicle," said Commander William Smith. "That's when the two suspects decided it was the best time to leave."

The two men jumped from the vehicle and it rolled right into some parked cars. Police used K9 units in an exhaustive search, following a trail of stolen property the thieves had dropped.  They were able to arrest Jamar Claiborne and Bradford Taylor. Both men have been involved with the justice system. The vehicle they were driving was stolen, and inside officers found a treasure trove of goodies taken from unlocked cars.

Thayer Montague is one of the many victims.

"Just the lack of respect of other's property, people have worked hard for something. And people feel like they have the right just to take it," he said.

While car break-ins are actually down in the Third Precinct this year, police are reiterating a message.

"Keep your valuables locked away, out of sight," said Capt. Smith. "Lock up your house. Lock up your car."

Police have been resourceful in trying to return many of the stolen items. They've found the owners by navigating to the saved home settings in GPS units and working with Apple to get addresses for registered iPods.

If you think police might have your stuff call 646-1956 to speak with a detective.

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