Crime

'Lock it or lose it:' York Co. police warn of 'wave' of unlocked car break-ins

Neighborhoods hit in York County car break-in spree

Three subdivisions between York and Rock Hill were hit by car break-ins Friday morning. Some sheriff's deputies lived in the subdivisions and were able to catch one suspect, but they are still searching for three more. Most if not all cars broken
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Three subdivisions between York and Rock Hill were hit by car break-ins Friday morning. Some sheriff's deputies lived in the subdivisions and were able to catch one suspect, but they are still searching for three more. Most if not all cars broken

Police throughout York County are urging residents to lock their vehicles even when parked at home after another rash of car break-ins Thursday morning.

Items were taken from 19 unlocked vehicles in neighborhoods near Clover in western York County and in the Lesslie community east of Rock Hill late Wednesday and Thursday, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff's Office.

All the vehicles in the most recent "wave" of break-ins were left unlocked, Faris said.

"These were 'unlawful entry' cases where people did go into vehicles, but the best defense for anyone is a locked vehicle where anything of value is taken out of the vehicle and stored safely inside the home," Faris said.

Tega Cay police reported similar incidents. The police department there tweeted Thursday morning that car thieves have been "hitting all around Tega Cay" the past three weeks. The post specifically mentioned unlocked vehicles.

"We're going to be hunting these thieves," the Tweet states, "but make sure to lock your doors and put away valuables."

That post came just a day after Fort Mill police tweeted a reminder to lock up valuables.

The sheriff's office also went to social media Thursday morning to remind people to lock cars, homes and other items as part of its #9PMRoutine.

In response to a "wave" of break-ins in 2017 and early 2018, the sheriff's office instituted a "9 p.m. routine" reminding people through social media Facebook and Twitter to lock up vehicles and remove valuables from cars. The office has issued fliers, done public service campaigns, and more.

"Our message is clear: "Lock it or lose it," Faris said.

Andrew Dys: adys@heraldonline.com; @AndrewDysHerald
John Marks: jmarks@fortmilltimes.com; @JohnFMTimes
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