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Police investigating string of car break-ins into unlocked vehicles

Source: Live 5 Source: Live 5
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Lock your vehicles!

That's the message from Charleston police who are investigating a string of reported vehicle break-ins in West Ashley.

A total of 10 vehicles were broken into in the Carolina Bay neighborhood on Wednesday, police spokesman Charles Francis said.

The break-ins were reported on Lockhaven Drive, Amberhill Way, Lawlins Road, Pleasant Hill Drive, Cornsilk Drive, Parklawn Drive and Gammon Street, he said.

"They're just going down the sidewalk and pulling on door handles, one after another, after another, after another," said Sgt. Trevor Shelor with the Charleston Police Department. 

Investigators say someone rummaged through the unlocked vehicles and stole money, t-shirts, a backpack and an IPod.

Police describe this kind of crime as a "crime of opportunity" and urge residents to remove all personal belongings -- handguns, cash, wallets, purses, credit cards and electronics -- from their vehicles and secure them inside, and make sure vehicles are locked.

The thieves apparently pulled on the door of Bruce Cyr's jeep. Luckily for Cyr, they only got a phone charger.

"I'm pretty smart like that," Cyr said."We don't keep anything in the vehicles that are valuable or could easily be stolen or anything that looks expensive, that's just asking for it."

Kathy Martin's next door neighbor had his car broken into.

"Just surprised in this big of a neighborhood," Martin said."You would think that everybody around so many people that you wouldn't have this in your neighborhood. But it's something to look out for."

Shelor says it's not unusual for thieves to target the suburbs. His advice?

"Most cars you can lock them," Shelor said."They've made it so simple. Just click the button."

Anyone with information about the car break-ins can call 843-743-7200 and ask for the on duty Charleston Police Detective or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.

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