Local News

Unlocked Cars Give Nighttime Thieves Easy Pickings

Posted March 1, 2007 11:36 p.m. EST

— We’ve all been there. You’re tired, distracted, your arms are full, maybe you’re even on the phone—and you simply walk into your house without locking your car.

Raleigh police say thieves look for these opportunities to steal anything you may have left behind.

Since Jan. 23, thieves have gone through about 50 cars in North Raleigh neighborhoods between Six Forks and Falls of Neuse roads. Each time, they go door-to-door, rummaging through unlocked cars in the middle of the night.

They take anything they find—money, cell phones, cameras, clothing, jewelry.

Two weeks ago, thieves stole a camera and a calculator from Don Jackson's cars on Greenside Drive while he slept in a room 20 feet from his driveway. They did the same to the cars of his neighbors, including a Wake County sheriff’s deputy who lives next door.

They went one step further there and set the interior of the deputy’s car on fire. Jackson woke up to see all the doors on both of his vehicles wide open.

“Everything was ransacked. The glove compartment was wide open. They just went through everything,” Jackson said.

Raleigh Police say the thefts, which occurred on Jan. 23 and 25 and Feb. 14, 15, 16 and 25, all happened close together and involved unlocked cars.

“We can't say for sure it's all being done by the same suspect or suspects, but it is in the same general area and there a lot of similarities between the cases,” said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

Raleigh police say that if you see it happen or it happens to you, call 911 immediately. Your response, they believe, is their best hope for stopping the crime spree.