The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 26, 2013

Police chiefs: Lock car doors, thwart thieves

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

— MAHONING TWP. — Police officers in the region are reminding locals to lock their car doors after a series of thefts from vehicles.

Most of the thefts are the result of residents forgetting to lock their car doors at night, according to local police chiefs.

Three cars parked outside residences were broken into over the past month, according to Robert Blee, chief of Mahoning Township’s police department. He believes all the cars in these instances were unlocked. Change and other loose items were typically taken from the vehicles. He emphasized that people should lock their car doors and not leave items of value in their vehicles. Expensive items that need to be left in a car could be covered up with a blanket or coat so would-be thieves won’t notice them.

“Make it hard for them. Don’t invite them to steal your property,” he said. “Use caution. The holiday seasons are here, when people are out, they should lock their stuff up.”

Chief Eric Gill, of Danville’s police department, reported two such break-ins during November, with similar items stolen as those in Mahoning Township.

Chief Isaac Ramer, of Riverside’s police department, also reported two vehicles broken into during October, when giving his regular report to borough council during their Nov. 4 meeting. CDs and an iPod were stolen out of the cars. Ramer asked residents to remember to lock their car doors.

State police from the Milton barracks also reported four vehicles being broken into at a Valley Township sports facility located near the intersection of McCracken Road and Indian Run Road. Purses and money were stolen from vehicles, two of which were left unlocked and two of which were entered by the thieves breaking windows.

Despite the warnings, both Blee and Gill said car break-ins are not up any more this month than usual. Blee said these current crimes are most likely the work of younger people, aged between 14 and 20, who may be looking for drug money. He added that Riverside may have recently made an arrest on someone caught breaking into cars and it may be related to the Mahoning Township break-ins.

Gill said the break-ins are probably driven simply by “a generic need for money.” He advised residents to report any strangers they see looking through cars or trying to open car doors.

Car break-ins occur in spurts throughout the region, Gill said. “We find them, arrest them, they quit for a while until someone else figures it out.”

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.