Lock your doors: Wilmington police investigate rash of car break - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Lock your doors: Wilmington police investigate rash of car break-ins

Wilmington Police continue to investigate a rash of car break-ins. Wilmington Police continue to investigate a rash of car break-ins.

Detectives with the Wilmington Police Department are investigating after 60 vehicles were reportedly broken into this week.

According to Police Chief Ralph Evangelous, more than one person is involved in the break-ins. He went on to say it's alarming to know the number of guns that have been taken.

Investigators say the main reason for the recent uptick in break-ins is unlocked doors.

"It may seem obvious, but you need to lock your doors. Don't assume because you live in a safe neighborhood you can let your guard down," said Edward Pompey, a crime specialist for Wilmington police.

On Wednesday, detectives released surveillance video of a suspect they say is connected to a car break-in at the Soft Wind Way neighborhood off Wrightsville Avenue.

Wilmington police said other break-ins have been reported near Airlie Place Road, Gray Gables Lane, Edgewater Lane, and Shandy Lane.

The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office is also investigating nearly two dozen vehicle break-ins in the Porters Neck area since July 7.

Officials said the thieves aren't being picky. They are taking everything from iPhone chargers to loose change.

"Don't leave items visible in your car. If you have to, just put them in your trunk or glove compartment and lock it," Pompey said. "Also, don't make yourself an easy target. Have your keys inside yourself when you go inside your home. Always remind yourself that anyone is a target."

Police encourage you to park your car in a well-lit area on a street or in your driveway where your car is highly visible. Joining a community watch program can also help because these thieves are targeting nearly every neighborhood around the city.

Most importantly, file a police report, no matter how minimal in value a stolen object is.

"At first it may be something minimal, but then the thief comes back a second time and they remember they got into your vehicle, and then they may want to make you a victim again," Pompey said. "So what they do is they get a small thing the first time and come back and get something of value and now your security system could pick them up if you have video surveillance in our outside your homes"

If you have any information on the recent break-ins, contact the Wilmington Police Department at 343-3609 or send an anonymous tip to Text-A-Tip by texting “CRIMES” and starting the text with “Tip708.”

Evangelous is urging residents to be responsible. Most crimes are committed with a stolen firearm, and this recent rash of break-ins just makes the streets more dangerous.

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