Sheriff urges caution, prevention in car break-ins

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ROME TOWNSHIP — Your cell phone. Your car stereo. Your pocket change. These items may sound relatively safe inside your automobile, but increasingly, eastern end residents are finding these commonplace possessions are lucrative enticements to thieves.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless is urging Rome Township area residents to be cautious about leaving any items in their vehicle, whether locked or unlocked.

Lawless said deputies have investigated four or five car break-ins each weekend during the last two weekends, all in the Proctorville-Rome area.

“It’s unusual,” Lawless said. “We tend to see things like this at Christmas, not this time of year.”

Most of the incidents have taken place on LaBelle-Bartramsville Road (County Road 70), Big Paddy Creek Road (County Road 12) and parts of State Route 243 in the vicinity of Big Paddy Creek. Most of the incidents have occurred between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.

One item reported stolen was a computer projector. Lawless said more likely, the items are cellular phones and other electronic gear.

“It’s usually small, easy things they can get away with and turn it in in a hurry for profit,” Lawless said.

The items have been taken out of both locked and unlocked vehicles. Lawless said the incidents are probably the work of more than one person.

Lawless urged people not to leave such items in cars, especially in places inside the car where they can be easily seen. He said those people who have a garage should park their cars in it as opposed to leaving the car parked in a driveway at night.

Those who notice suspicious activity should call the sheriff’s office at report it.

If your vehicle is broken into, Lawless cautioned the owner to be careful about what they touch, as fingerprints and DNA may be obtained from the vehicle to help catch the culprit.

Those who seek more information about crime prevention may call the sheriff’s office at 532-3525.