Unlocked cars in Maryville have been targeted by burglars for the past two weekends, according to police.
Last weekend, it was Rolling Meadows subdivision; the weekend before, it was Keebler Oaks. Burglars have stolen items from as many as seven cars per weekend, all from unlocked vehicles, according to Maryville Police Chief Robert Carpenter.
“These are crimes of opportunity; they’re not breaking into things,” Carpenter said. “So we’re trying to get the message out for people to lock their car doors and close their garage doors.”
A Maryville officer was conducting a routine patrol through a neighborhood this weekend and saw a dome light on in a car, Carpenter said. He investigated and found a bag full of stolen items left on the ground.
“We must have scared the burglars away,” Carpenter said. “They wouldn’t have just thrown this bag away.”
Many of the stolen items have been returned, Carpenter said; for GPS units, they only have to hit the home button to find their owners, and other items such as credit cards have identification information.
However, there are some stolen items that have not been returned, so if anyone is missing something that might have been stolen from a car, Carpenter urged them to call the Maryville Police Department.
In addition, Carpenter said, not everyone reports a car burglary when nothing is broken. “We want to know if it happens,” he said. “That way if we catch them, we can prosecute.”
In the meantime, Carpenter urged all residents to lock car doors, close garages and lock their homes as a general deterrent, though he said this is not common for the village.
“Maryville doesn’t have much crime, so this might only happen a couple times a year,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Maryville Police Department at 344-8899.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at email@example.com or 618-239-2507.