Unlocked Vehicles Targeted
Sheriff: 14 Autos Hit Over About 2 Weeks
Posted: January 3, 2013
HARRISONBURG — In roughly a two-week stretch, more than a dozen Rockingham County residents reported thefts from unlocked vehicles — three to four times the typical rate for the same time period.
Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said the crimes were widespread.
“It’s spread out,” Hutcheson said. “You have them from Bridgewater to McGaheysville.”
Between the week before Christmas and Sunday, Hutcheson said, 14 unlocked vehicles were targeted. In a normal month, he said, thefts from three to four cars are reported.
In November, there were three.
Hutcheson said residents in the Barrington, Donnagail, Lakewood and South Mountain Village neighborhoods, along with homeowners on Taylor Springs Road, reported thefts from their vehicles.
Six GPS devices, two guns, several purses and wallets, cash and gift cards were among the items reported stolen.
Capt. Dan Claytor of the Harrisonburg Police Department said 16 vehicles were targeted in December. That’s an increase from most months, he said, but similar to the total reported in December 2011.
At this point, Hutcheson said, there’s no evidence the crimes in the county are connected. He said thieves are preying on easy targets.
The easy solution, he said, is for residents to lock up their cars. All the vehicles in question were unlocked, with most items clearly visible.
“They walk through, see what is in plain view, grab it and move on,” Hutcheson said. “If they can’t get easy scores, they’ll stop looking.”
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or email@example.com