Break-ins to cars and other vehicles in Chapel Hill tripled in January.
“Chapel Hill has experienced a dramatic increase in vehicle break-ins compared with the same time period in previous years,” spokesman Capt. Josh Mecimore said in a news release Wednesday.
“Normally, we respond to between 15 and 20 vehicle break-ins in the month of January,” the release said. “This January, we responded to 51 vehicle break-ins.”
The crimes shared some characteristics:
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▪ Items of value were plainly visible inside the car.
▪ Cars were often left unlocked
▪ Break-ins occurred at fitness centers, shopping areas, and parking areas for community trails.
The following are some of the valuable items that have been stolen since Jan. 1:
▪ 1 tablet
▪ 2 GPS Units
▪ 8 laptops
▪ 6 wallets
▪ 11 pocketbooks
Additionally, four firearms were stolen during break-ins to vehicles in the final two months of 2016.
Police are encouraging residents to remove any items of value and to lock their vehicles. People should call 911 immediately upon seeing any suspicious activity. The police department is utilizing additional patrols to attempt to deter break-ins while working to identify those responsible.
Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest. You can also leave tips for Crime Stoppers athttp://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org/