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Thefts from vehicles on the rise

July 2015 TheftsUnlocked car doors and garage doors left up at night are luring thieves to some St. Peters neighborhoods in recent weeks.

St. Peters police report a jump in reports of thefts from vehicles in a widespread area including the Highland Subdivision and at apartment and condominium complexes. Melissa Doss, the city’s community relations officer, said items were not stolen in all the cases but the majority of the vehicles were unlocked.

Doss is reminding residents that unlocked doors are an open invitation to thieves. Residents should make sure car doors are locked and valuables such as radar detectors, GPS units, cellphones, cash, coins sitting in a slot near a front seat, purses and garage door openers are removed or hidden from plain sight.  She also is urging residents to remember to close their home garage doors at night.

In one incident, suspects entered a home through an open garage door and stole a wallet and vehicle. Along with closing garage doors, the door from the garage into a house should always have a deadbolt lock for added protection.

“This is a very common thing for thieves whether they are bored teenagers or drug users looking for something to sell,” Doss said. Break-ins often coincide with warm weather, starting as early as spring break for students.

Thefts from vehicles have occurred in more than a dozen locations since July 1. The locations include areas along Royal Burgess Drive, Greenburg Drive, Whinhill Court, Hilton Park Drive, Bay Hill Drive, Donner Pass, Kimberly Lane, Jane Drive, Briley Lane, Saravalle and Sugar Glen.

Doss said it is possible that thieves may come through a neighborhood again or surrounding neighborhoods. Residents should be vigilant and report anything suspicious to police. Police patrolling neighborhoods during late night hours will stop people walking the streets.

Police also are urging residents to start a neighborhood watch program in their subdivision if they don’t have one. Residents can call Doss at (636) 278-2244, ext. 3550 for more information.

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