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Thefts from vehicles on rise in recent months

July 28, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

Local police in recent months have noticed an increase in thefts from vehicles and are urging people to keep doors on vehicles locked and to remove valuables like GPS units, iPods, tools, jewelry, purses, wallets and cash.

Capt. Mark Holtzman of the Hagerstown Police Department said there were about 20 instances of valuables being stolen from cars in North Hagerstown on July 9.

The thefts occurred the area of Lindsay Lane and Fairchild, Pennsylvania and Belview avenues, Holtzman said.

There was another rash of thefts from about 15 vehicles on July 14, Holtzman said.

About eight of the thefts occurred on North Mulberry Street, starting in the 200 block, Holtzman said. The rest were in the North End, he said.

In most cases, the thefts handled by city police have occurred after midnight and have involved the theft of GPS units, cash, cell phones and backpacks, Holtzman said.

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Holtzman asks anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously in a neighborhood to police. The sheriff's office can be reached at 240-313-2910.

If there is an incident in progress, people can call 911, a sheriff's department spokesman said.

Holtzman said he does not believe the cases in the city and ones being handled by the sheriff's department are related.

At one time, the sheriff's office patrolled area housing developments and checked people's vehicles to see if they were unlocked, Lt. Art Overcash said Wednesday.

If a vehicle was found to be unlocked, an officer would leave a courtesy note inside the car advising the owner to keep the vehicle locked, Overcash said.

In some instances, police discovered people had left their keys in the ignition, he said.

"It was incredible," Overcash said.

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