BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Greenville Police Department would like to increase public awareness on a recent trend that is affecting the Greenville area. There has been an increase in vehicle break-ins in the last several months.
“We have noticed that this is a problem across the state and not just in Greenville. A group of people, usually juveniles, will walk certain neighborhoods and go up to each car they see parked at a house or near the street and pull on the door handle.
“If it is unlocked, they will go through the vehicle and see if they can find anything of value. It is not uncommon for a group to come from out of town and pick a certain area to walk around and commit this type of crime.
“They will often cover a large area on foot and then go back to the town they came from with anything of value they could find.
“The crime, however, is not only being committed by people from out of town. We have several juveniles in our area that are committing this type of crime. We have had 15 vehicles broken into from Oct. 1, to Dec. 11.
“We have made 14 felony arrests on these cases. That includes eight juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17. Some of those eight have been charged with multiple cases.
“Our patrol and investigations divisions are doing an outstanding job on solving these crimes once they happen and we have put additional preventative measures in place to try and help catch them in the act.
“We are asking for the public’s help as well. We ask each individual to be vigilant around their neighborhood. Look for suspicious subjects walking in and around yards and call the police when you think there may be a problem.
“Another, very simple request we would ask people is to please lock your car doors! We have not had a problem with an individual forcing entry into a vehicle with this type of group.
“If you simply lock your car door when your vehicle is unattended (even in your driveway), then that is very likely all it will take to prevent someone from breaking into your vehicle.
“It is also important that you do not leave valuables in the car, especially overnight. If a suspect can see something in your vehicle through a window, then they will be more likely to try and break in it.
“We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of the citizens of Greenville and their property. Thanks to the public’s help and cooperation on crimes like this, we can be successful in solving them and even preventing them,” stated Greenville Police Chief Justin Lovvorn in a press release.