(KATV) Conway - Car break-ins don'tjust happen at night or in what are considered "bad parts of town".In Conway, the New Year has started with an uptick of car break-ins. 24 so farthis year.
It takes less than aminute for a thief to break your car window and take anything in reach. Somelaw enforcement agencies estimate up to a quarter of car thefts are fromunlocked cars. What both scenarios have in common is valuables left out in theopen.
It's a crime ofopportunity and nobody is immune from becoming a victim. Ben Alexander says, "Oneof my really good friends, his car got broken into. They punched the glass andstole his wallet and ripped his CD player out of his car."
Alexander says he isnow compulsive about making sure his car is not inviting. "I'll walk away afterI have already checked it twice and run back and think did I lock the doors,did I hide everything, did I take all my valuables out?"
Latresha Woodruffsays, "You don't think it's going to happen to you until it happens toyou." Woodruff, with the Conway Police Department says half the break-inshappened to cars with valuables in plain sight whether doors are locked or not."And they've been smashing the windows to get to them."
Police don't havehard leads and says several thefts happened on the same day, "Six of them are likelyconnected, probably the same person or group."
The thefts arewidespread in the city, not easily handled by patrol. Woodruff saysunfortunately many of these cases go unsolved. "Once we get out there it's overand done with."
Channel Sevencontacted several of the victims. They said their wallets were stolen withcredit cards, cash and drivers license. One victim had all her relatives socialsecurity cards in her purse.
In one case, the officer on the scene took it upon himself to drive to the closest dumpster and found one victim's empty purse and the ID of another.
Even though 24 carbreak-ins is high compared to last year. August of 2010, Conway had 51 carbreak-in reports. For that story, click here.