String of car break-ins in Shockoe Bottom - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Thieves target string of car break-ins in Shockoe Bottom

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Extra police are on patrol in Shockoe Bottom, after a string of car break-ins. Thieves hit the area by North 19th Street through East Broad and East Grace Streets. Police say five vehicles were broken into within four days, last week. Two of the cars had smashed windows.

Lt. Dan Minton with Richmond Police says car break-ins in the neighborhood have been down by 40 percent so far this year, compared to the same time in 2013. However, this recent slew of break-ins prompted Lt. Minton to send out a warning to the public in his patrol area.

"(Thieves) will walk down the street. They'll check the cars to see if they're unlocked. If they're unlocked, they'll just go in. If they see something valuable, and the car's locked, they'll break the window," said Lt. Minton. "We had somebody leave a purse in a car. A gun was stolen out of a car…an iPod, a computer."

Lt. Minton reports that in one instance, the suspect smashed the window of the car just to get $3 worth of change from the console. 

Neighbor Burt White surveyed his car in what he could do to make it less of a target.

"I'll probably be a bit more cautious with like smaller things, like the iPod or GPS," said White.

All electronics or purses, even change, should be hidden or secured. Police warn that when crime is down, people can sometimes get complacent. Regardless, everyone must stay vigilant.

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