GREENFIELD, Ind. - Police think a recent series of thefts from cars has grown to vehicles now being stolen from town.
Investigators with the Greenfield Police Department said there were several items stolen from vehicles north of downtown late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, with one vehicle used to cause more than $10,000 in damage at a park.
City park employees said the park isn't typically the victim to vandalism, especially the level this time around.
"Typically, its graffiti or a tipped over trash can, those kinds of things," said Joshua Gentry, the maintenance foreman for the parks, "The call came in this morning as we had some vandalism. It wasn’t until I got on scene that I realized the scope of the vandalism."
Damage included the fence around the outfield, a softball field being torn down, tire marks through areas of the grass, broken benches and picnic tables.
Police said the stolen 1994 Jeep Cherokee came to a stop when it hit a post of a scoreboard. The impact was so hard that the windshield shattered.
“We believe the people abandoned the Jeep after they crashed it and likely found another vehicle with the keys in it and stole it," said Greenfield Detective Randy Ratliff.
The second vehicle, which has also been recovered, was taken from a home along Morristown Pike, which is less than a half-mile from the park.
Ratliff said people should be keeping their doors locked, as most reports were not cases where someone had to force their way into a car. He added the area where the Jeep Cherokee was taken has had between 20 and 30 thefts from vehicles in the past two months.
“People need to lock their vehicles up," Ratliff said. "Don’t leave your keys in the vehicle even if it is locked up. Don’t leave garage door openers in the vehicles. That gives them access to your garage, which might give them access to your house once they get access to your garage."
At the park, employees stayed busy putting in a temporary fence. It'll be at least a week until the park's fence contractor can come out to look to replace the permanent fence.
Park officials said they planned to have the field safe for practices and games to resume Thursday night.
“A lot of people, this is the only active thing they do," Gentry said. "So, any down time affects people greatly. We try to limit that, no matter what the damage is."
Anyone with information should call Greenfield police at 317-477-4410.