Crime

‘Please, lock your cars’: 14 vehicles hit in latest break-in spree, York Co. cops say

Worried about car break-ins? The York County Sheriff’s Office has a message for you.

The York County Sheriff's Office says: The 9PM Routine isn't Rocket Science. The answer is simple. Lock your car before you go to bed. Bring your valuables in doors. Also take an extra second to check to see if your home, garage, shed & utility tr
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The York County Sheriff's Office says: The 9PM Routine isn't Rocket Science. The answer is simple. Lock your car before you go to bed. Bring your valuables in doors. Also take an extra second to check to see if your home, garage, shed & utility tr

Police in York County are urging people to lock their cars even while at home after another spree of break-ins near Lake Wylie.

On Wednesday, 14 residents reported vehicles in the Greenwich Boulevard and Hampton Bay neighborhood near the lake were opened by what appears to be at least two suspects, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s Office.

All 14 vehicles were unlocked at the homes, Faris said. Deputies are still investigating, but so far only one set of golf clubs was reported stolen, Faris said.

“The common denominator here is the vehicles were left unlocked,” Faris said. “We want to remind people: Please, lock your cars.”

Deputies posted again on Facebook and Twitter Thursday about the latest incidents.

One homeowner on Wednesday provided doorbell security video to deputies, Faris said. In that video posted by the sheriff’s office on social media, two suspects are seen opening unlocked doors of a vehicle parked in a home driveway.

In Rock Hill, police received four reports Wednesday from a single street in the Constitution park neighborhood where vehicles were rifled through. In all four cases, the cars were left unlocked, reports show.

“We especially encourage people to take all valuables out of cars at home and when at places such as the gym or other public places,” said Lt. Michael Chavis of Rock Hill Police Department. “Thieves will look for pocketbooks and book bags left in plain sight and try that vehicle.”

Last week, Fort Mill Police Department received reports of 11 unlocked car break-ins in a single day.

Law enforcement did not say the incidents in different jurisdictions are related.

Federal ATF agents and York County law enforcement officers told The Herald that car break-in thieves often are looking for weapons.

In the city of Rock Hill on Christmas Day 2018, 30 unlocked vehicles were targeted resulting in weapons being stolen, police said.

The incidents of unlocked vehicles being targeted were so common in 2018 and earlier this year that York County deputies put out public service announcements called the “9 p.m. routine” reminding people to bring valuables inside and lock their cars, garages and sheds.

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