Dozens of 4th of July car break-ins

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus Police are busy looking for the people responsible for dozens of car break-ins over the holiday weekend. While many families were enjoying the long Fourth of July weekend, burglars were busy breaking into cars.

Lt. Gil Slouchick with the Columbus Police Department told News Leader Nine, "We have car break-ins all the time and every now and then we see a spike on a weekend and we don't know why."

The Fourth of July weekend could be to blame as many residents gathered together, leaving their cars in crowded parking lots.

"The majority of the time when people break into cars they're going to places where there is a large number of cars: hotel parking lots, restaurants, the Civic Center, places like that," said Slouchick.

Lt. Slouchick tells News Leader Nine more than two dozen cars were broken into in five locations across the city, including the new Wyndham Garden Hotel on Veterans Court, The Residence Inn on Adams Farm Road and a mechanic garage on Metro Drive.

There were also several residential break-ins, including a stolen car on Kingsberry Street.

He added, "We're looking into these to see if they're possibly connected. We're not ruling it out that the same individuals are doing it. We've got some video and some suspects we're currently working on now."

Even though car owners can take precautions by removing personal items, Slouchick says sometimes break-ins just can't be prevented, "Of course people need to understand that there are people out there and this is what they do for a living. They wake up in the daytime and instead of going to work like we do, they think of ways to break-in to your car and steal people's stuff."

The items stolen from the cars included stereos, flat screen monitors, DVD's and a $450 pressure washer.

Police say the key is to not make your car a target. Don't leave personal items in the vehicle, even if they are under the seat, and always park in a well-lit area or where you can keep your eye on it.