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Brundidge police investigating rash of stolen vehicles

The theft of vehicles in Brundidge has become a major concern for residents and the Brundidge Police Department.

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said a large number of vehicles have been take from residences within the city limits from June 2 until July 6. Several juveniles have been taken into custody, he said.

“During that time, there were eight reports of vehicles being removed from local residences,” Davenport said. “Four of those who reported their vehicles being stolen had left their keys in the vehicles. You don’t need to make it convenient for somebody to drive off in your vehicle by leaving the key in it.”

Two of the stolen vehicles were found in the vicinity of the city pond, another behind the former chipper mill location on the north side of town and another in the wooded area off Floyd Street.

“It appears that young people are taking the vehicles and hiding them in wooded areas or some out-of-the-way places during the day and then driving them around at night,” Davenport said. Two of the stolen vehicles were found wrecked by the Troy Police Department.

Troy police pursued both vehciles, which each crashed into trees before the occupants fled.

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said Rico Dynell Harris, 18, was arrested and charged with attempt to elude, a misdemeanor, after being identified as a passenger in one of the vehicles. Both are under investgation and charges are pending.

Davenport said some residents have reported seeing young men shining flashlights in car windows and shaking car doors, but they haven’t reported it because they don’t want to get involved.

Davenport said the police officers can’t be everywhere, so they need the help of the community in stopping this rash of car thefts by increasing awareness and by being involved.

“We’re asking residents, if they see something suspicious, to call the police department or 911,” he said. “Don’t wait five minutes or until the next day to come forth with information about any crime that has been committed and that includes stealing cars. People need to be more aware of their surroundings and to report anything they think is suspicious. We need the public to be on watch.”

And, when a crime is committed, Davenport said witnesses or others with information need to come forth and then must be willing to go to court and testify as to what they saw or know.

“If we make an arrest, it has to stick,” he said. “Making arrests stick is how we can cut back and stop crime in our city or any city.”

Davenport verified that gunshots were fired in the vicinity of Hinwal Circle on the Fourth of July.

“Some witnesses said shots were fired from a vehicle and some from the ground,” he said. “However, those that saw the vehicle that was involved didn’t agree on the color, so we don’t have a clear description of the vehicle.”

Davenport said it is suspected that juveniles were involved in that incident.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd said, too, that residents are being encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and to report anything that looks or seems suspicious.

“It may not be anything but, if it is and it goes unreported, then the crime is going to be more difficult to solve,” she said. “We all need to do our part in making our community a safe place to live and work.”