Many unlocked cars burglarized in Aiken Co. neighborhood



News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Nov. 4, 2013

WARRENVILLE, S.C. (WRDW) -- Diana Bowers' sense of security is a bit rattled.

"Everything was just thrown on the seats, and it was just a mess," says Bowers of Warrenville. "When you see everything thrown everywhere, it upsets you first before you even realize what's missing. Somebody was in your space."

Overnight Saturday, somebody stole an MP3 player from Bowers' Ford Escape, and she wasn't the only victim. The Pleasant Pointe neighborhood, off Pine Log Road, had at least four more car break-ins. According to incident reports, two cars were hit on Avondale Lane. Two more were burglarized on Lands End Drive.

"They're just going by, jiggling handles, and taking what they can quickly," says Bowers.

A stack of incident reports shows what was stolen: a computer, GPS unit, $18 of cash, even a Kroger Plus card.

However, the reports also say there was no "forced entry" on all five cases, because all five cars were unlocked.

"Lock your doors and double check before you go to bed to make sure they're locked. This isn't the first time Pleasant Pointe has been hit," says Bowers, who says she was so busy she forgot to lock up.

Sergeant Jason Feemster with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office says locking the doors of vehicles could prevent future crimes.

"People that are out late at night that are stealing are looking for the path of least resistance. Whatever's going to be an easy target is what they're going to do," he says.

Feemster also says vehicle owners should hide valuables or take them inside to avoid tempting the criminals.

"It really escalated in July, but it's been sporadic," says Tina Bevington, the co-owner of the GVW CrimeWatch Facebook page.

Bevington says Warrenville has been dealing with waves of car break-ins since early summer.

"They seem to have some pockets of small petty thieves there that continue to know the area," she says.

She hopes community members will pull together to help the Aiken County Sheriff's Office find those responsible.

"We are trying to help," says Bevington. "I mean, we're not the police, but we are just neighbors helping neighbors."

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