CRESTVIEW—A series of “burglaries from vehicles” has struck Crestview, resulting in the thefts of valuables such as firearms.
The thefts occurred after drivers left vehicle doors unlocked and, in some cases, left the keys inside the vehicle. The recent string of crimes happened in various locations throughout the city and left no pattern for law enforcement officers to track, according to Crestview Police Chief Tony Taylor.
“Unfortunately, these crimes are plaguing law enforcement officers all over,” Taylor said. “It’s nothing new but it’s something we’re certainly working to solve.”
These thefts spiked in Crestview about one year ago, according to Taylor. Suspects will go through neighborhoods or parking lots and see if a door is locked, he said.
None of the thefts involved damage to the vehicles, such as broken windows or forced-open locks.
“These are crimes of opportunity,” Taylor said. “We’re not blaming the victims but we’d like to remind people to take valuables with them and make sure their doors are locked at all times.”
The stolen items have varied and include anything that might be of value, according to Taylor. These have included cell phones, GPS devices, pocket change, firearms and purses or wallets.
Taylor believes the crimes were carried out by a group of people who have committed these acts before, despite no pattern and a widespread area.
“We’re probably going to put together some public service announcements reminding people to take their valuables and lock their doors,” Taylor said. “It’s sad that you have to do that so somebody won’t steal your belongings but that’s the way it is.”
Preventing such crimes also is important for another reason.
“(Responding to these crimes) also pulls officers away from other calls that might be more important,” CPD Public Information Officer Brian Hughes said.
Call CPD at 682-2055 for any tips or information regarding the thefts.