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Thieves accelerate vehicle burglaries

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Car break-ins have been on the rise this summer, and it’s good advice to pay attention to both your vehicle and what you leave inside of it.

We’ve reported a series of such incidents in recent days, in Alton and in some surrounding communities. Some law enforcement officials say communities along the Illinois side of the Mississippi River are being victimized by thieves from Missouri, who enter across a bridge and bolt back with the goods.

That’s not always the case, but it’s a theory to keep in mind when you leave your car in a spot where you believe it to be safe.

These break-ins occur more frequently than we have time to report, frankly, but when there is a flurry of them, we’re obligated to let people know – and so are the police. The more the word is out there about problem areas, the more eyes are focused on the problem.

The latest activity occurred Sunday, with four burglaries, three of them to vehicles in the Alton Marina parking lot, a site that is supposed to be limited to those with marina interests.

But we’ve also seen activity at the Lewis and Clark Historic Site in Hartford, restaurants and the movie theater in the Edwardsville area, and elsewhere.

Many of the incidents occur in broad daylight, when vehicle owners are out of view, detained for long periods of shopping or entertainment.

Every time automakers enact security measures for vehicles, thieves adapt, finding new methods to employ their trade. Lately, they’ve used a sharp tool to punch out locking mechanisms. Whatever’s inside the car becomes fair game.

We are not sure who is victimizing us, but it is happening. The more you do to ensure your own safety, the better.

 

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