Car break-ins rise after snowstorms

March 04, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Snow and ice are not hindering thieves, police say, and might even be abetting certain crimes.

After nearly every storm this winter, police noticed a sharp increase in break-ins of cars, said Trooper 1st Class James S. Emerick of the state police Crime Prevention Unit.

The targets seem to be cars that couldn't make it up the driveway and are left parked on quiet, rural roads, out of sight of the house.

In some cases, the owners left their cars unlocked, Trooper Emerick said. But even a locked door is no deterrent, he warned. The thieves have broken windows to get radar detectors, stereo equipment, cellular phones, gloves, coats and boots.

"Put the stuff in the trunk," Trooper Emerick suggested. Thieves are less likely to break in if they cannot see a prize awaiting them, he said.

"We're getting 10 to 12 [break-ins to cars] a night after a storm, when we usually have one [per night] here or there," Trooper Emerick said.

On Feb. 9 and 10, state police arrested seven people in New Windsor and Eldersburg -- two unrelated groups of people engaged in stealing from stranded cars, Trooper Emerick said.

In New Windsor, Resident Trooper Phillip L. Henry arrested three people, and in Eldersburg, Trooper 1st Class Van Stitcher arrested four.

The officers recovered numerous items, many of which were reclaimed by victims, Trooper Emerick said.

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