Neighbors on alert after car break-ins across 2 counties

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News 12 First at Five/Friday, April 25, 2014

(WRDW) -- Becky Barrineau has lived in the River Bluff Neighborhood for 24 years and say it's always been a safe place.

"Normally it's a wonderful neighborhood," said Barrineau. "It's a lot of first time home buyers, parents pushing their babies in strollers, walking their dogs. [There's] usually no problem at all."

But that sense of security was shattered on Saturday morning when she woke up and went to her car.

"I realized the little compartment on the top was folded down and my prescription sunglasses were gone," she explained. "I knew immediately that someone had been in my vehicle."

Barrineau says she had her garage door propped about open at the bottom, which means the suspect had to crawl underneath to get to her car.

"Someone was within arms distance of my back door and I was home," she said. "So that's really kind of given me a little apprehension at night now."

She's just one of many victims in her neighborhood.

Aiken Public Safety officers released this video of two suspects who they believe are responsible.

And these aren't the only recent car break-ins.

Just across the river, Richmond County deputies are looking for a man who they say is responsible for about 10 car break-ins in the Windermere neighborhood.

"We watch out for each other," said Ernest Cloutier, who lives in the Windermere neighborhood.

"It's just not a time anymore that you can just let your guard down," said Barrineau. "I was one of those [people] who thought you could kind of leave your door open, leave your garage door opened until 10 or 11 pm but, I think those days are gone."

Now, neighbors in both states are locking up, staying alert and hoping someone will recognize the suspects.

"The pictures are very plain. And I know that it's just a matter of time," said Barrineau. "Somebody out there is going to see the picture and they're going to identify them. They're going to know who they are."

Both Aiken Public Safety officers and Richmond County deputies are urging you to keep your cars locked and keep all valuables out of sight.

They're also asking people to stay alert, look out for each other and report any suspicious activity you may see.

The pictures above are from the Winderemere neighborhood car break-in suspect and the last vehicle he was seen in.

Click the video above to see two suspects in the Silver Bluff Neighborhood car break-ins.


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