BEL AIR, Md. - The number of car break ins in Harford County is skyrocketing, and now officials are trying to pump the brakes on the crime.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office says the thefts are happening across the entire area, with no specific pattern in the time or location.
Jesse Bane owns Quality One Land Service Specialists in Havre de Grace; his company vehicles were struck last month.
“It just made me sick,” he says, “sick to my stomach.”
Bane is out more than $15 thousand, after thieves stole landscaping equipment from trucks parked behind his building.
“We couldn’t work.” Bane says, “You don’t steal a man’s tools. They could’ve stolen my sofa, they could’ve stolen my TV, they could’ve stolen my wife’s car, but not my tools.”
Bane says his trucks were locked and surveillance cameras caught the whole thing. But pixelated images make it too difficult for officials to see the thieves.
“To watch it happen to you on the video. It was sickening. It was sickening, watching you get robbed,” Bane says.
So far this year, Harford County has seen almost 500 theft from auto cases, that’s about 100 more than all of 2012. And it’s happening across the board, in location likes Bel Air, Edgewood, Aberdeen and Fallston.
“A lock is not a lock unless it’s locked,” says Edward Hopkins with Harford County Sheriff’s Office. “You can have all the security in the world, all the lights you want, but if a vehicle is unlocked, if a suspect knows how to get in a vehicle, he can reach in, grab something and be out in a couple minutes.”
The Sheriff’s Office calls it a crime of opportunity. They urge drivers to keep valuables out of plain sight in your cars, and say the key to not being a target is locking you doors.
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