Local News

More Thieves Target Gadgets in Cars

Posted January 17, 2008 4:43 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2008 11:39 p.m. EST

— Almost one-fourth of major crimes reported in Raleigh involve items stolen from vehicles, police said, and new electronic gadgets have become the favorite targets of smash-and-grab thieves.

"Before, it was people knocking out (a window) to rip the radio out. But now, if you've got a GPS unit mounted on the windshield, it's an easy target," said Andy Batts, of Diamond Triumph Glass. "With the XM satellite (radios), GPS units mounted, people will knock the glass out of your car and take whatever is in there."

Batts said his firm has seen more windows broken and electronics stolen in recent months than ever before.

"We get calls for all kinds of things," he said.

While many thefts from vehicles involve broken windows, others occur because people are careless, said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

"A lot of the things we didn't have a few years ago are ... the targets right now," Sughrue said. "The thing about these crimes is so many of them can be preventable."

Police emphasize the mantra of lock the car, take the keys and hide the valuables to curb such crimes, he said.