Thieves target unlocked cars in Annapolis

Posted at 5:16 PM, Dec 13, 2016

It's a reoccurring problem that's now been caught on camera -- thieves stealing valuables from cars, sometimes the cars themselves and then vanishing. 

After a recent streak of break-ins and thefts, officers are concerned people aren't locking up. They're asking everyone to stay aware, pay attention, and remain vigilant. 

"A lot of the houses here now have street cameras," Charlie Davenport, the president of the area homeowner's association, said. 

She said the news of thieves stealing from her neighborhood is unsettling. 

"If there's a mouse trap, there's always a better way to get to the cheese so, you know, all you can do is look after each other and hope that it goes away and probably not to the next neighborhood," Davenport said. 

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Last week, police received video of a thief breaking into a car and stealing it. 

Amy Miguez, with the department, said this month's break-ins are leaving officers on high alert. 

"It's definitely something that we're aware of and that's why we increase patrols in areas where people are out, you know, late at night," Miguez said. 

Property crimes in the city are down 4 percent from last year. Still, police are warning people to remember to lock up your valuables and your cars. 

"Most of our criminals don't have, you know, fancy tools to try and break into cars -- showing no signs of damage. So we believe that most of these cars are left unlocked," Miguez said. 

Davenport is concerned there's a deeper problem, saying the thieves may need help in other areas. 

"We gotta look at what we're doing to help them before we make these formal complaints, but we have to because breaking the law is breaking the law," she said. 

Both she and Miguez agree stopping these types of crimes takes teamwork. 

"We rely on our community members to be our eyes and ears and so we need them to be thinking about safety and security and know who to call," Miguez said. 

It's a step in being proactive and possibly preventing the next break-in. 

"...not to have your head in the sand and say 'this is not my problem because they broke into someone else's house.' It is your problem," Davenport said. 

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