Danville Express

Community Pulse - April 13, 2007

Tsunami of felony thefts hits Danville

A wave of felony thefts swept through Danville during March and early April, said Danville Police Sgt. Troy Craig, due largely to residents leaving their cars and businesses unlocked.

"We've seen a spike in activity," Craig said. "Don't treat your vehicle like a safe because it's too easy to access."

Half of the 26 felony thefts - stolen items worth $400 and more - were unforced entries. Craig said police have received reports for 11 cars that had windows broken.

"The bad guy just smashed the window, took property and ran," he said.

But police found 10 cases in which cars were unlocked.

Craig said some people leave their doors unlocked due to forgetfulness and exhaustion. Moreover, people may leave items in plain sight in their cars, which makes it tempting for others to break in.

"There's a variety of reasoning why this occurs," he said. "This causes a huge headache for (residents) because 42 percent of all of these thefts are purses and wallets."

He said suspects may take their money, credit cards or identification. Craig urged residents to keep their personal items with them and not leave them in their car, he said. Thieves know where to look for them.

"Take your valuables inside," Craig said. "The big thing we're asking is citizens to remain vigilant and if they see someone suspicious to give us a ring."

-Jordan M. Doronila

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