Local Departments agree that forced entry incidents are becoming a problem
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/04/2012 -- Huntersville Police Department has noted that 13 of their 31 recent car break-ins have been categorized as forced entry.
Deputy Chief Michael Kee said punched-out locks on cars have been a primary attribute of the break-ins.
“It’s become a common way to break into someone’s car,” Kee said. “Historically, unforced entry is the biggest and easiest way (for theft). People just leave their car doors unlocked. They’ll have them opened and have things taken out of them.”
What citizens must be wondering is what they can do if even locking the door is not effective.
“The best thing you can do is to make yourself as unappealing a target as possible. Keep your valuables hidden in the trunk or don’t even keep things of value in your car,” Kee said. “If you don’t do that, it’s less likely to happen to you.”
Huntersville break-ins rose 63% last month. Kee notes that the general economy may be a reason for the rise.
Huntersville decided to increase presence for heightened opportunities to catch the thieves. However, Kee warns that lock-punching is rather difficult to detect.
Lock punching is utilized by criminals as it leaves few if any traces. There are no shards of a broken window, and no obvious signs of entry.
“We’re certainly finding ways” to help prevent break-ins, both unforced and forced, Kee said. “Each of our patrol units are trying to find ways to combat this. We’re rolling patrol cars through busy parking lots, like the (Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics center on Verhoeff Drive), where one was reported. They’re usually occurring at commercial and large business parking lots.”
Hammers and screwdrivers are the most common tools utilized by the criminals to gain access to the cars.
Mooresville police department Major Ron Chilton echoed the concerns of Kee’s. “We had a case of a car break-in that resulted in a chase. The perpetrator was apprehended afterward,” he said. “We’re always on the lookout for that kind of activity. It’s something that tends to happen, but we’re working on keeping it from happening.”
“It takes a lot of force (to knock a lock in),” Chilton said. “You pull or punch the lock depending on the tool used, and it breaks the lock mechanism, pushes it out and lets you open the door. But by the time it can happen, sometimes people can see it.”
Sadly, the hiding or removing valuables has not seemed to sway the criminals’ intent.
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