Local News

Chapel Hill Vehicle Break-Ins Have Police On Alert

Posted August 20, 2004 9:54 a.m. EDT

— Police in Chapel Hill are warning people to lock their car doors. There were a series of break-ins this week.

The break-ins came just as police get ready to begin an extensive new program to stop them.

Rob Roll moved to Chapel Hill just 13 days ago. Someone broke into his Blazer, smashed the window and snatched the radio.

It was not the greeting he expected.

"It was a complete surprise," Roll said. "I was parked right under a light in a very open area."

Eleven people in the area had their cars broken into either late Wednesday or early Thursday. The burglars smashed the windows or pried the locks and then stole radios, CD players and stereo parts.

Coincidentally, police in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill are launching a new program next week called HABIT. It stands for "Halt Auto Break-Ins Today."

"The most basic steps are just lock your doors, roll your windows up, " Chapel Hill officer Danny Lloyd said, "and, if you have anything that's valuable in your car, to take it with you."

The new HABIT program begins Tuesday in Chapel Hill -- the first day of classes at UNC. Officers will hand out flyers on how to help make sure your car is not broken into.

Last year, more than 1,000 cars in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area were broken into.

"That results in thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars' worth of property that gets taken," Lloyd said.

Roll's ripped-off radio is just one more statistic.