March 13, 2014
For residents living in the Huntley neighborhood in Charlottesville, they were greeted early this morning by police, informing them that items could've been stolen out of their cars.
Charlottesville police aren't calling these situations "break-ins", because the cars were unlocked with items out in clear view.
“We had 18 cars that were entered in the early morning hours here,” says Lt. Ronnie Roberts of the Charlottesville Police Department.
This isn't the first time this sort of break in has happened in Charlottesville, and police say it's becoming more common.
“Some people may have the tendency to forget when they come in, maybe having other objectives on their mind when they come home,” says Roberts. “Then other times they feel safe in your own community, but the other side of it is that you can become a victim of a crime.”
Items like money, electronics and expensive sunglasses were stolen from vehicles. Many residents do feel comfortable enough in their neighborhoods that sometimes they leave their doors unlocked.
“I don't feel as if it is unsafe,” says Erin Monaghan, who lives in the Huntley neighborhood. “I think folks maybe are a little more alert.”
Monaghan says the front door of her car was open and her neighbor saw the light on inside the car early in the morning. She says she takes her valuables out of her car, so something like this doesn't happen.
“If somebody is going to break into your car, they will break into your car. It's one of the reasons why I don't leave anything valuable in the car,” Monaghan explains. “I rather have them open the door unlocked than smash a window, because that is a lot more expensive.”
She says she is more alert about leaving her car unlocked, but neighbors believe juveniles were to blame.
Charlottesville Police are still investigating the car intrusions.