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Lock Your Doors: Increase Seen in Break-ins of Unlocked Vehicles

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
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Hillsborough police have been using social media to remind the community regularly to lock up, with photos like this one and this message: It's 9 p.m. You didn't forget to lock your cars and homes did you? Criminals don't take days off. #9PMRoutine

Vehicle break-ins have increased this week in southern Hillsborough, with nine unlocked cars entered and two unlocked cars stolen that had keys in them over three days.

“Most vehicles these days are not actually ‘broken into’ when valuables are stolen,” said Lt. Andy Simmons, commander of the Hillsborough Police Department’s patrol division. “The public has made it quite a bit easier because all the offender typically does now is walk through neighborhoods looking for unlocked car doors. This does not make as much noise, is a lot quicker, and gives the offender a larger number of target vehicles.”

Since January, five vehicles have been damaged to gain entry, but more than 25 were left unlocked and then entered. Damaged vehicles are typically “smash and grabs” at local fitness or shopping centers, Simmons noted.

Since February, four vehicles have been stolen from neighborhoods. All four were unlocked with keys in them.

The Hillsborough Police Department has been encouraging residents to complete a 9 p.m. daily routine of ensuring their vehicles and houses are locked. Unlocked vehicles and homes are easy targets for thieves testing door handles.

The recent break-ins occurred:

  • May 27 into May 28 in the Waterstone development ― six vehicles were entered, a 2018 Toyota Yaris was stolen, and a blue children’s bicycle was stolen from an open garage. Neither the car nor bicycle has been recovered. The car is a gray, four-door hatchback with N.C. license plate FBZ-4050.
  • May 28 into May 29 in the Cornwallis Hills neighborhood ― three vehicles were entered, and a 2000 Lexus was stolen. The vehicle was recovered in Durham.

No information on a suspect is available at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Heather Blackwell at 919-296-9530 or by email.

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