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Picky thieves target Conover cars

January 14, 2011

A two-week larceny string in Conover continues as thieves snatch valuables from unlocked vehicles.
The larcenies started in early January and occurred mostly in the southeast and northeast quadrants of the city.
The latest incident reports from Conover reveal the larcenies continued through Thursday, when at least six reports were filed. Brewer thinks the same people are responsible for all larcenies.
"We've had some past experience with these people," Brewer said.
The first string of larcenies was reported Jan. 3, and a second string happened Jan. 14-16.
Brewer was a victim in the first larceny string, when thieves rummaged through his personal car, which was parked at Brewer's home on Ninth Avenue SE. The perpetrators removed items from inside Brewer's dash, but nothing was stolen.
Brewer doesn't think the thieves targeted him specifically.
"They got everybody up and down the street," he said.
Although those responsible for the crimes don't discriminate when it comes to their victims, they are picky about what they steal from vehicles.
"They pick and choose what they want to take," Brewer said, adding the thieves take electronics, such as stereo systems and cell phones, as well as cash.
Brewer thinks the culprits look for items that are easy to take and can be sold quickly for money. Many items, such as GPS units or MP3 players, don't have serial numbers and can't be traced to original owners.
Some victims reported nothing stolen from their vehicles, and, like Brewer's car, the vehicles were only rifled through.
A Conover resident reported Thursday an unknown suspect entered his car, which was parked in the 500 block of First Avenue Place NE. The incident report didn't include any stolen items.
Another resident in Conover's NE quadrant reported items stolen from her vehicle Thursday. A GPS unit, two purses and two wallets were stolen from the car, which was parked in the 200 block of Fifth Street NE.
Additional incident reports say tobacco products, credit and debit cards and keys were also stolen from vehicles.
No arrests were made in the incidents, and Brewer said there's no way to tell exactly how many break-ins the thieves are responsible for until police arrest the suspects.
Until an arrest is made, Brewer encourages everyone to remove valuables from their vehicles.
He said it's also a good idea never to leave vehicles unlocked, but he worries a locked door won't stop the criminals.
"They might just break the windows," he said.
Meanwhile, residents must be alert to anything out of the ordinary on their property. Several victims told police they heard their dogs barking at night, possibly trying to alert the dogs' owners that something was amiss. Brewer said people shouldn't hesitate to call police, especially if residents think something is wrong.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Conover Police at (828) 464-4698.

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