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2009-08-12 / Crime Watch

Thieves target license plates

Gwen Sadler

Sometimes it's not what's in a vehicle, but what's on it, that attracts thieves. While vehicle break-ins continue to be common in the county, more and more thieves are stealing items from the exterior of vehicles without breaking in. License plates are frequently taken, but other parts of the car have become popular targets as well.

Recent thefts of vehicle license plates include:

• Alan Drive - Between 6 p.m. on July 31 and 10 a.m. on Aug. 1, in the 5000 block

• Alfalfa Lane - Between 8 a.m. on July 13 and 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 3, in the 2400 block

• Jefferson Davis Highway - Between 6 p.m. on July 31 and 6 a.m. on Aug. 3, in the 13500 block

• Midlothian Turnpike - Between noon and 4 p.m. on May 30, in the 9700 block

• Shoremeade Road - Between 11 a.m. on July 30 and 6 p.m. on Aug. 1, in the 4600 block

• Squire Hill Court - Between 10 p.m. on Aug. 1 and 9 a.m. on Aug. 2, in the 3900 block

Recent thefts of parts other than license plates include:

• Dumaine Drive - Between 1 p.m. on Aug. 1 and 1 p.m. on Aug. 2, someone stole the battery from an SUV parked in the driveway of a home in the 11300 block.

• Falling Creek Avenue - Between 7 a.m. on July 16 and 4 p.m. on July 30, the battery cables were cut out of a truck parked at LS Lee Inc. in the 3000 block.

"These are often challenging cases to investigate as victims often don't realize it's happened until the suspect(s) are long gone," said police spokesperson Ann Reid. "We encourage residents to call us to report the thefts as soon as possible or [to report] if residents see something or someone suspicious in the area. We also encourage residents to talk with their neighbors about what is going on in their neighborhoods. An active and good Neighborhood Watch program goes a long way in awareness and crime prevention."

Residents can find out whether they have a Neighborhood Watch program in their area or how they may create one by calling Crime Prevention Officer Tim Lamb at 748-1585.

Anyone with information about the vehicle crimes above should call police at 748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 748-0660, or text the code tip699 with the tip and send to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters may also visit www. crimesolvers.net to report information anonymously online.

In other crimes:

Buccaneer Drive. Between 7:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on July 31, someone entered a home in the 800 block through an unlocked window and stole clothing, consumable goods, money, jewelry, electronics and other property.

Chinaberry Drive. Between 8 a.m. on June 1 and 5 p.m. on July 28, several suspects occupied an apartment unit in the 700 block after the renters had moved out at Chesterfield Village Apartments.

• Just after 4 p.m. on July 28, a victim was walking in the 700 block at the Tivoli South Apartment complex when a suspect asked him to enter a hallway inside a building. The suspect then pulled out a gun and demanded the victim's money before fleeing on foot.

Falling Creek Avenue. Between 7 p.m. on July 31 and 7 a.m. on Aug. 1, someone cut and stole copper wire cables from a large arc welder that was stored under an open-faced shed at LS Lee Inc. in the 3000 block.

Garrison Place Court. Between 8 a.m. on July 31 and 10 a.m. on Aug. 2, the registration sticker was stolen from an SUV parked in the driveway of a home in the 2300 block.

Gates Bluff Terrace. Between noon on July 31 and 7:40 p.m. on Aug. 2, someone smashed the rear glass door of a home in the 8100 block and stole guns, jewelry, electronics and other property.

Jefferson Davis Highway. Between noon and 3:10 p.m. on July 30, someone entered the Falling Creek Coin Laundry in the 6200 block, pried open the locked office door and stole money.

Luckylee Crescent. Between 12:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. on July 28, someone entered an unlocked car parked at Meadowdale Townhouses in the 3600 block and stole firearms and electronics.

Pewter Avenue. Between 11:15 p.m. on Aug. 2 and 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 3, someone broke into a vehicle parked in the 6300 block at Rollingwood Apartments and stole firearms, money, electronics and other property.

Port Walthall Drive. Between 2:45 a.m. on Aug. 2 and 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 3, someone stole two Ryder trucks that were parked in a lot in the 1700 block. The trucks were later found at a nearby motel.

Sydelle Drive. Between 10 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. on July 29, someone broke into an exterior shed and home in the 10900 block and stole money.

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