WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A rash of car break-ins has neighbors in one community taking extra precautions.
David Masler lives in Echo Greens, a townhome community within Echo Farms. His car was broken into earlier this week.
Masler said the crooks took his checkbook and some cash, but left behind some valuable tools.
"If they come and try to bother my truck again, it may be a problem," he said. "So, I would just stay away from Echo Farms and my truck."
Masler said he left his car unlocked, a mistake he won't make again.
"I'm just going to keep my stuff locked up," he said. "I just moved here two and a half weeks ago from Pennsylvania and I wasn't expecting people to come break into my stuff."
Anticipating that they would come back, Masler said he stayed up and watched the parking lot last night. However, the crooks didn't return.
"Just leave my neighbors alone," Masler said.
Nicole Cohen said her roommate was also victimized.
The thieves took cash and a GPS from her car.
"It just makes me feel extra cautious," said Cohen. "There's not much I can do except check and double check that all of my stuff is locked and try not to leave anything accessible in the car."
Neighbors said they plan to form a community watch in response to the crimes.
Additionally, a Crime Prevention Officer from the Wilmington Police Department is coming to talk to their neighborhood meeting on Saturday.
Police fingerprinted the cars that were targeted and officers are investigating. WPD has made several recent arrests in similar crime sprees. They're asking neighbors to be vigilant and call if they see something suspicious.
To protect yourself, officers said always lock your car and keep valuables out of sight.
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