Residents can help prevent break-ins

Recently, four residents along Rocklane Road east of Greenwood reported that a total of six vehicles had been broken into overnight. The only items missing were a jacket and a flashlight, according to the police reports.

While the break-ins were unusual because it is such a rural area, the incidents are a reminder of the public’s need to remain vigilant and proactive about residential security.

Sheriff Doug Cox said vehicle break-ins have been high this year and more common than home burglaries. He added, “I don’t think thieves stopped all summer long. This runs in spurts, and we expect for things to slow down due to colder weather. For whatever reason, this year, things aren’t slowing down. This is the one crime that is increasing.”

In many of the recent break-ins, including the ones along Rocklane Road, vehicle doors had been left unlocked, police said. Even if you don’t have anything in your car, lock the doors. The thieves likely will move on, Cox said.

The sheriff urges residents to park their vehicles in their garage and put the garage door down or lock the vehicle doors if they’re parked outside. He said he has heard that residents decide they would rather leave their doors unlocked than have someone break a window or scratch their door to break in. But based on who has been arrested, thieves have said that if they walked up to a vehicle that was locked, they moved on to the next unlocked one, he said.

Removing valuables from vehicles is another way to avoid being a victim of vehicle break-ins. Taking photos of items and copying serial numbers are two ways residents can assist police in retrieving items that were stolen once they are sold to pawn shops or returning items that are later found or recovered.

Cox offered several tips to deter vehicle break-ins:

  • Lock your vehicles.
  • Park in the driveway or garage.
  • Leave an outside light on.
  • Do not leave firearms in your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Know what is in your vehicle, including serial numbers of electronics and other personal belongings.
  • If you see suspicious or unfamiliar vehicles, call 911.
  • If your vehicle has been broken into, make a police report.
  • If you find out your vehicle has been broken into, or you want to report a suspicious vehicle, or activity call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office emergency line at 317-736-5155, or dial 911.
  • If residents are still hesitant of calling an emergency line, they can dial 317-736-9155.

Becoming proactive and keeping an eye on your neighborhood is a good start to preventing break-ins. And when you see something that isn’t right, it probably isn’t, so don’t hesitate to dial 911.

At issue

Vehicles were broken into in a rural area east of Greenwood.

Our point

The incidents are a reminder that residents need to remain watchful and to report any suspicious activity to police.