Spike in car break-ins prompts warnings from Columbia police

Monday, March 12, 2012 | 4:19 p.m. CDT; updated 7:06 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 12, 2012

COLUMBIA — Purses, wallets, money, laptops, iPods and guns are among personal items stolen from vehicles in the past several weeks, said Latisha Stroer, public information officer for the Columbia Police Department.

Stroer said the department has received an "excessive" number of reports of things being stolen out of cars, trucks, vans and SUVs recently.

"There's somebody who is targeting that area," she said, referring to Beat 30,  roughly located north of Business Loop 70, east of Rangeline Street and northwest of Paris Road.

Twenty-eight vehicles were broken into between Feb. 28 and Mar. 6, often by simply opening an unlocked door and taking an item left in plain sight. The week before, there were nine thefts. The vehicles were parked in driveways or on the street in front of houses.

Stroer said people need to remember to take their possessions inside the house and lock their car doors.

"We are reminding people to take extra precautions," she said. 

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Michael Williams March 12, 2012 | 4:54 p.m.

The article title is a bit misleading, at least for me.

To me, "car theft" means stealing a car.

Not a break-in.

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