EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 17, 2012

Rash of car break-ins continues

Police warn neighbors to keep vehicles locked

By Mike LaBella mlabella@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — HAVERHILL — In response to a string of thefts primarily from parked vehicles left unlocked, police are stepping up patrols in the area of Bradford Common and Zion Bible College in Bradford.

Police are warning residents in this area to avoid leaving valuables in their unattended vehicles, especially not in plain sight, and to lock their vehicles even if they are parked in front of a home or in a driveway.

Police say thieves have made off with wallets, pocketbooks, money, small electronic items and other valuables during the breaks, most of which have occurred at night and in neighborhoods were residents typically feel safe and sometimes leave their car doors unlocked.

Since the beginning of October there have been as many as 15 cars broken into, police said. Three of those breaks occurred yesterday.

“We’ve had, on more that one occasion, reported breaks on Upland Avenue and Colby Street, as well as on South Lincoln, Lincolnshire Drive, Sherwood Drive and Alfred Park,” said police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson.

Alfred Park is off of Hyatt Avenue and is south of Bradford Common.

Thompson said other breaks have likely occurred, but some owners didn’t bother to call police.

“Either nothing was taken or they didn’t immediately notice if a small amount of change was taken,” Thompson said. “But no matter where you live, you can’t leave your car unlocked with valuables sitting on the front seat.”

The most recent breaks were reported yesterday. Police said the breaks all occurred in this area of Bradford.

Police responded to a report at 5:18 a.m. yesterday at 62 Upland Ave.

“Someone entered a man’s unlocked pickup truck and took an iPod, charger and backpack along with a silver coin collection valued at $200,” Thompson said.

Police received another report at 8:36 a.m. yesterday of a car that was entered at 35 Byron St., and a report at 9:56 a.m. of a GPS that was stolen from a car parked at 62 S. Williams St.

On Monday, police responded to a report at 8:41 a.m. of a theft from a pickup truck that was parked at 13 S. Charles St. A man told police he parked his truck in his driveway and that someone entered it and took his wedding ring, about $5 in change and a $20 bill that he left on his console. Police also responded to a report at 6:48 p.m. on Monday. A woman told police she parked her car at 3 Ferry St. to go to the gym and when she returned to the car, her pocketbook was missing. There appeared to be no forced entry, police said.

Last Friday, two Colby Street residents reported their vehicles were entered. At 6:04 p.m. police responded to 119 Colby St., where a man said someone had entered his car but nothing appeared to be missing.

At 7:50 p.m., police responded to 115 Colby St., where a man told police someone rummaged through his car and took a cigar lighter.

“We’re trying to get the word out to people not to leave valuables in their vehicles and to report suspicious activity,” Thompson said. “If you see something unusual in your neighborhood, someone who doesn’t belong or someone who is looking into cars, call the police.”