HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Cell phones, iPods, even guns! These are just some of the things crooks are swiping from cars in Hanover County. It's happening overnight in at least three neighborhoods: The Kings Charter, Castle Tower and Georgetown areas. And the one thing all of these people did that made them a target? They left their cars unlocked!
Most of the neighbors say it's because they simply forgot or because they feel safe in their neighborhood. But it's the so-called "safer neighborhoods" these crooks are after.
It only takes one second to lock your door and protect the valuables inside your car. Roughly 20 cars in the neighborhood were broken into overnight. The victims on multiple streets including Guenevere Place and Ivy Banks Drive all woke up to find out that a lot of things inside their vehicle were gone.
"I looked in my car and my Tom Tom and my camera were missing from my car," said car break-in victim, Jerry Plum.
The crooks went door to door, looking for stuff to steal from vehicles in the neighborhood. The cars that were broken into all had one thing in common, the doors were unlocked.
Jerry Plum: "Shame on me for leaving my car unlocked."
Evrod Cassimy: "So you think it was your fault?"
Jerry Plum: "In a way yeah it was my fault. Shame on me you know?"
For this neighbor, it was his second time stuff was stolen from his car. Both times because he left his car doors unlocked. Down the street, another neighbor learned her lesson the first time.
"I make sure that my car is locked everyday just because it's like a violation," said neighbor, Lindsey Claud. "Every time I hear this happen it reminds me of how I felt knowing someone was rifling through everything in my car."
Even though he lost nearly $600 in electronics, Plum is looking on the bright side. Things could have been a lot worse.
"Nobody got hurt you know? Nobody broke into my house and harmed anybody," said Plum.
Unfortunately the crimes happened when the victims were sleeping. No one we spoke with saw or heard anything.
Aside from just locking your doors, keep your valuables in your trunk out of sight. Police also suggest leaving a porch light on and if you do hear or see anything suspicious overnight, call them immediately.