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Vehicle break-ins on the rise

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 8:54 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Hot weather might tempt you to keep your car windows cracked during the night, or when making a trip into the store.

However, that may lead to your car getting broken into.

Car break-ins have been happening more frequently than normal in some parts of the the Chippewa Valley. In response to the recent spike in complaints, the Eau Claire police want to remind people of a few ways to avoid this kind of theft.

Josh Miller from the Eau Claire Police Department says between July 2nd and August 4th the city had 62 cases of theft from vehicles and he says this is a significant increase from the norm.

"We did notice a trend where were getting several mass entries in at once where an individual or a group of individuals were going through mailboxes and cars, quite a few, in a small area," said Miller.

Miller says the police first became aware of this trend on the Southside of Eau Claire, but since has learned it is not isolated and these cluster break-ins are happening all over town.

Taylen Lundequam says he and his roommate were simply taking a trip to the store, when they noticed something was off,

“We went to go feel the car door and we noticed it was unlocked. And then all of a sudden my roommate was like ‘Oh there’s a crowbar in the car’ and everything was open so immediately were like someone broke into our car … we think they pushed the crowbar in, then flipped it, and then pressed the unlock button”.

Lundequam says he wasn't surprised to see this happen, he'd heard of similar break ins happening to others in the area.

“I’ve seen videos of high schoolers going around to each car to see if they’re unlocked or not, but to use a crowbar is different … even if It’s open just a crack they can get in, so lock your doors, keep all the important stuff in your house, or on you at all times, don’t leave it in the car”.

Miller told WEAU,

“it’s always a good idea if you do decide to keep something valuable in your car, to know what’s in your car that way we can identify it later and maybe help us lead to a suspect by all means we want to know that but again it’s better to keep anything valuable out of your car all together”.

Miller adds if valuable items are in sight, a locked door won.t always deter someone from breaking in.

While there have been many recent complaints made to the police, Miller also said some of these cases are ongoing and have been assigned to investigators. However, no person has been charged for the recent thefts or break-ins.

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