We reported Monday that even after two teens were arrested as suspects in at least three auto break-ins in Bainbridge, several more break-ins were committed by a more determined thief.
Well, that thief has apparently struck again this week.
Although Bainbridge Public Safety officers are not positive it’s the same person committing the August break-ins, someone has been using a tool–such as a hatchet or hammer–to bust open the windows of locked vehicles, and grab valuable items from within, Investigator Ryan Deen said Thursday.
Multiple auto break-ins were reported as happening sometime on Tuesday night in the area off Country Club Road, south of Bainbridge.
Three more happened with city limits this week, and in all of the cases someone punched out the center of a window and then pulled out the glass to gain entry. Altogether, there are at least 9 reports of auto break-ins involving the same method of breaking a vehicle window, according to incident reports from Bainbridge Public Safety and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.
Both agencies’ officers have been looking for possible fingerprints left by the thief on the victims’ vehicles. Investigator Deen said the two agencies are also sharing information with each other and conducting special patrols.
Here are some tips Investigator Deen offered to the public:
- Always lock your car doors, every time you leave it parked unattended. If a car door is damaged and won’t lock, get it fixed. In some previous break-ins, thieves walk around in a neighborhood pulling on door handles to see if the vehicles are unlocked.
- Don’t leave valuables such as purses lying in plain sight on the seat of a vehicle. To absolutely safe, don’t leave any valuable items such as computers, cell phones etc. in parked vehicles. In cases in which the thief breaks a car window, it’s no trouble for them to open up a center console, glove box or trunk. If you must leave items in a car, cover them up with a jacket or blanket or put them in the trunk.
- Consider installing outdoor lights that are turned on when motion is detected. Any kind of deterrent that might convince the thief your vehicle isn’t worth the trouble.
- Report after-dark loitering of anyone who doesn’t seem like they live in the area by calling 911.
- Contact trusted neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out on your property and tell them you will do the same for them. Share information about any suspicious persons you see hanging out in the area.
Here is a list of the most recent break-ins:
- Sometime on the night of Sunday, August 10, someone busted out the passenger window of a car on Miller Avenue and opened a center console. Stolen items included a purse containing cash and a bank card, a designer wallet, a graphing calculator, an iPhone and a make-up bag.
- Sometime on the night of Tuesday, August 12, someone busted out the driver’s side door of an SUV on Deborah Street, in West Bainbridge, and opened the rear driver’s side door. Stolen items included four 12-inch Alpine speakers, valued at $800.
- Sometime on the night of Tuesday, August 12, someone stole a pair of designer sunglasses from a car parked on Laurel Lane, off Georgia 97 near the Rich subdivision. The car’s owner was unsure if the car was left unlocked or not, and there were no signs of forced entry. However, this break-in is close by to the ones that follow on this list, which did involve busted windows.
- On Wednesday, August 13, Sgt. Jason Williams of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office reported to a residence on Crawford Road in reference to entering auto. Crawford Road is in the same area as Laurel Lane and Country Club Road.
- On August 13, 2014 Capt. Brad Lambert of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office responded to Country Club Road in reference to an Entering Auto. A purse containing a driver’s license along with some bank and credit cards were stolen.
- On August 13, 2014 Sgt. Williams responded to a residence on the 1200 block of Faceville Hwy. in reference to an entering auto.
- On August 13, 2014 Capt. Lambert responded to Crawford Road in reference to an Entering Auto.
Earlier in August, there were two break-ins on Julia Circle, near Bainbridge Middle School, and off Emily Street, which is the same neighborhood as Julia Circle. All three involved busted car windows.