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Local auto glass companies getting 50+ calls a week amid increase of smash and grabs

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 11:06 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - While it’s not unusual this time of year for cars to be burglarized, auto glass companies say this year it’s reaching an all time high.

The phones at car repair shops have been ringing like crazy.

“We have seen an influx probably taking 20 to 30 phone calls a day for parts availability and then availability to actually have the work done,” said John Weddell, Manager of Columbus Body Works.

Weddell says their shop began getting these calls right after thanksgiving.

“Especially where we were doing three, four a week total,” said Weddell. “Now we’re seeing three and four a day that we’re actually installing in the vehicles.”

Columbus Body Works is one of many auto repair companies in the city experiencing high volumes of car burglary repairs.

Criminals aren’t being too particular about which cars they are burglarizing. Weddell says Columbus Body Works has seen a variety of different cars.

“A 20-year-old vehicle to a ten-year-old car,” said Weddell. “We are seeing all types of vehicles be broken into.”

Weddell says while the holidays are always a busy time due to an increase of car crash repairs his shop gets a lot of, his crew members are working overtime to try and get these smashed windows fixed as soon as possible.

“We’ve always really tried to focus in December on getting the cars back in the driveway as quick as possible,” said Weddell.

Stephen’s Auto Glass wasn’t available to go on camera but say just this December, they’ve received about 20 calls a week and 50-60 calls the week before Christmas.

Stephens Auto Glass Company say they also have quick turnaround - fixing windows in just 24 hours.

With Christmas just one week away, having added expenses can be a financial burden to many.

“It’s never a convenient time to have an insurance claim or window busted out and you know an auto glass can range from a minimum of $300 and some of them are pretty pricey,” said Weddell.

We reached out to the Columbus Police Department about what can be done to safeguard these issues, but they were not available today

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