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Vehicular burglaries a ‘crime of opportunity’

As the Troy Police Department continues to investigate a string of burglaries in the Country Club neighborhood, Police Chief Randall Barr explained that vehicular burglaries are difficult to prevent and clear by police.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” Barr said. “It’s very random. You’ll go for a while without any and then you have a time like this when, whoever did this, will come into a heavily populated neighborhood looking for several cars to hit. They’ll walk from car to car pulling door handles.”

And the burglaries can happen anywhere at any time Barr said. Anywhere there is a large enough group of vehicles can become a target for thieves.

Even with extra patrols, which the police department is providing, Barr said thieves are smart and will avoid detection.

“If you’re out at 2 a.m. breaking into vehicles and you see headlights, what are you going to do? You’re going to make yourself disappear,” Barr said. “They’ll dip into the woods or somewhere they won’t be seen before we’re ever close enough to see them.”

The crimes are also difficult to solve, at least officially.

“In order to solve these crimes, we have to prove who committed it,” Barr said. “We have to be able to put that person at that vehicle, and in these cases, that can be very difficult to do.”

Barr said the department has worked on the burglaries to collect every piece of evidence and process every vehicle. The department is also still asking any residents that have video that may have caught the suspects to turn it in. The police are also asking anyone that might have any information relating to the crime to call the police department at 334-566-0500.

The best prevention is still to bring valuables and weapons inside, Barr said, and to keep any valuables that must be in the car hidden and doors locked.

Bringing valuables inside means they are much less likely to be stolen, as vehicular burglaries are more common than residential burglaries.

“It’s all about the ease of access,” Barr said.