Several car burglaries reported in city

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Car Burglaries Graphic

Police investigating a series of auto burglaries are advising residents to make sure they lock their car doors.

Over the weekend, seven car break-ins were reported to the Elizabethton Police Department, with five of them occurring in the same neighborhood.

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On Saturday, a vehicle break-in was reported in the 400 block of Washington Avenue. The vehicle owner reported someone had stolen a Garmin GPS unit and about $5 in change from her SUV.

Also on Saturday, a man reported to police that someone had stolen several items including his wallet from his SUV while it was parked at Elizabethton High School.

On Sunday, the department received several reports of vehicle break-ins, including three on West D Street.

A woman reported her purse stolen from her SUV while it was parked in the 300 block of Eisenhour Street. She later found some of her personal belongings on the sidewalk on West E Street in front of the apartments located at the corner of West E and Eisenhour streets.

In the 400 block of West D Street, a woman reported a case containing 10 CDs and a set of keys had been stolen from her car.

On West D Street in the 500 block two vehicles were broken into at the same home. A CD player was stolen from a Nissan van and an electronic control box was removed from the dash of a Dodge Ram truck.

Another vehicle was burglarized on West D Street, this time in the 600 block. In that case, the woman reported the car had been rummaged through but the only thing missing was the vehicle’s title. The woman said she was not certain the title had been stolen and that she may have misplaced it.

Also on Sunday, a man reported someone had stolen a CD player from his Jeep Wrangler and had rummaged through the vehicle while it was parked in the 600 block of Orchard Road.

Anyone who has any information regarding these burglaries is asked to contact the Elizabethton Police Department at 423-542-4141, or tips can also be reported through the Crime Stoppers Tips Line at 423-542-7574.

EPD Inv. Joe Harrah is investigating the burglaries, and he said the best advice he can give residents to help them avoid becoming victims is simply to lock the doors on their vehicles.

“They are mostly pulling on door handles to see what opens,” Harrah said. “We’re not getting many with broken windows or using slim jims. On Jeeps and other soft tops, they are actually taking a razor and cutting the tops.”

While locking the car doors sounds like simple advice, Harrah said that simple deterrent is often ignored.

“Most of the auto burglaries I’ve had in the last couple of months have been on unlocked cars,” he said.

Another simple step that can be taken is to remove valuables from the vehicle or secure them where they can’t be seen, Harrah said.

“If you have any valuables or personal items, don’t leave them in your car,” he said. “If you are going to leave your Jeep out, make sure you take your valuables inside.”

“It’s a shame people can’t leave their things in their car,” Harrah added.

Once inside the vehicle, Harrah said the thieves will take “anything they can get their hands on.” Items such as money, loose change, purses, CD players and laptop computers have been reported missing during recent burglaries, he said.