PDT Staff Writer
Certain items periodically become the main focus of thieves looking to steal something easy to sell or trade for drugs. In recent months those items have ranged from guns, to jewelry, to power tools. This week, thieves in the Wheelersburg area have focused on global positioning systems, known as GPS systems.
A Tom Tom unit valued at $200 was stolen Monday from a Clairmont Avenue resident. That same day, a $400 Garmin system was stolen from a Green Street resident, and on Tuesday, a $350 Garmin system was stolen from a Crescent Drive resident. Scioto County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Todd Miller has seen nearly every angle thieves use when stealing items such as a GPS system.
“Some have the ‘take me home’ feature which leads you to your home address,” Miller said. “People break into your car, say at a movie theater parking lot, and they press that button, knowing you are not home, and it leads them to what may be your empty house so they can burglarize it too.”
Miller said people simply remove the GPS from it’s holder and place it in the glove compartment, thinking it is safe there.
“Thieves look in your car - they see the holder and the power cord, and they know it’s in the glove compartment,” Miller said.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini says it really is not safe to leave anything of value in your car.
“It’s just common sense,” Donini said. “It’s like Christmas shopping during the Christmas season. You just can’t leave things out in an area where people can actually just walk by your vehicle and see the items there. If they find anything valuable, they might possibly break in and take it. So the idea is to clear the entire car out. If you have to put it in the trunk, but even that isn’t a good idea either if you have something valuable or sentimental, lots of times they can simply get into your vehicle and press the trunk release button or pull the back seat down and get access to your trunk.”
Donini said people who think they are hiding an item of value by placing a jacket or sweater on top of it, may also be surprised.
“Thieves too have common sense,” Donini said. “They can see that you’re trying to conceal something, and it just makes them even more curious - is it valuable or is it not? And if they are that desperate they will try to break into it and find out what it is and take it because it is valuable.”
Donini said he sees reports on a regular basis of women who leave their purses on their car seats and leave their vehicle. He said those people are prime targets for thieves as well.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com