Four motorists have been struck by car burglars operating in the Collinsville Bluff Road area.
Four cars were hit in the parking lot of the Leisure World fitness center on April 25, according to Collinsville police. Three vehicles were burglarized and one car was stolen out of the lot, according to Collinsville Police Lt. Brett Boerm.
The stolen car has since been recovered in St. Louis, Boerm said. To his knowledge, none of the other stolen property was recovered, he said.
“Leisure World and Club Fitness and other workout facilities are common places to hit,” Boerm said. “Even though they offer lockers, people will leave their purse and valuables in plain view in their cars.”
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Boerm said it doesn’t help that Bluff Road has easy access to the interstate, and that car burglars have struck in multiple places with easy highway access, including Pontoon Beach and in St. Louis County. Mostly, car thieves are looking for certain types of vehicles that make it easier to punch the lock or that they have experience with, he said.
But any place where people are likely to leave valuables in their car instead of bringing them inside is a likely target, he said.
“If you’re at a fitness club, definitely make use of the locker,” Boerm said. “They provide those lockers for a reason.”
Boerm also recommended that drivers always make sure to lock their cars, though a car alarm might not be the deterrent it once was for an experienced thief. “As quick as these guys are getting in and out of cars... they’re as quick as 32 seconds, in and out,” Boerm said. “I don’t know that a car alarm would intercept them.”