ROCK HILL — Deputies plan to increase patrols in a Rock Hill neighborhood where residents reported that 36 unlocked cars were broken into and rummaged through earlier this week.
Monday morning, deputies took reports for 36 break-ins in which drivers, who left their cars unlocked in the Meadow Lakes subdivision and along Wendy Road, said someone went into their cars and rummaged through valuables.
There were no signs of forced entry, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Trent Faris. A pair of binoculars from one car and sunglasses and loose change out of another are among the items reportedly stolen.
Rock Hill Police also received complaints about car break-ins in the same area.
A 33-year-old woman reported that someone went inside her Honda minivan, opened the glove box and took $300, according to a Rock Hill police report. The woman told police she locked her car before, but authorities say it's more likely her car was unlocked since they did not find any signs of forced entry.
Another woman, 48, told police someone went into her Toyota Camry and stole about $10 in change that had been collected in a jar, police documents show. She told police her husband left the car unlocked on Sunday night and did not realize the car had been broken into until the next morning.
Police were unable to lift any fingerprints from the car or the jar, the report states.
A third woman reported to police that her and her son's cars had been broken into. She explained to authorities that she intentionally keeps the doors unlocked so if someone does break into the car, they won't break the windows, documents state. The glove compartment boxes in both cars were left open, but it appears that only change was taken.
Police were unable to lift fingerprints from the car break-ins and suspect that the culprits responsible wore gloves.
Deputies advise residents to remember to lock their car doors at night, and keep all valuables out of plain view.
Faris said deputies are investigating if the latest string of break-ins might be related to a similar rash in Rock Hill, York and Clover reported earlier this year. He said, "right now, there seems to be no connection."
In May, deputies investigated a string of car break-ins within two weeks. In one Friday, deputies investigated 23 car break-ins at the Channing Park subdivision, where residents said their unlocked cars had been broken into and their valuables stolen.
The following Tuesday, residents living in the Vander Lakes and Pines at Campbell Crossing subdivisions in York and Clover reported that 10 cars had been broken into, authorities said.
The next night, eight more cars were broken into on Denali Way, a street off Twin Lakes Road in Rock Hill. All of the cars had been left unlocked, police said, and several items sitting in plain view were stolen, including golf clubs, purses, cash and electronics.
There have been no arrests made in any of the break-ins, Faris said.
Deputies have upped patrols in the Meadow Lakes subdivision and areas around Mount Gallant Road, he said.