Increase in car break-ins, thefts prompt warning from Plainfield police

PLAINFIELD, Ind- Neighborhoods in Plainfield are being targeted by thieves who have been stealing valuables from unlocked cars, or the cars themselves. Police say they’ve received more reports than usual since last weekend.

“You just realize you’re really not immune to things,” said Plainfield resident Larry Chestnut.

On Sunday, Chestnut’s son woke up to a surprise. He went out to his car and noticed something was wrong.

“His glove box had been rifled through, had stuff thrown on the floor, papers all over the place,” Chestnut said. “And the only thing missing was a cell phone charger cord.”

Larry’s son was lucky. In total, thieves hit 10 cars since last weekend, getting away with valuables such as laptops and purses.

“I had a laptop and some loose change stolen,” said Stu Mason, who lives down the street from Chestnut.

Mason woke up to the same scene on Sunday. Police say in all the cases, it appears the cars were left unlocked with no signs someone forced their way in.

“I felt really stupid because I think my car was locked, it’s a normal practice,” Mason said.

Besides the valuables, at least four cars were stolen, and three of those were recovered in Marion County. Police say each one of those cars was left unlocked with the keys still inside.

“It sounds like these were crimes of opportunity where they were just going around trying door handles,” said Lt. Gary Tanner with the Plainfield Police Department.

Tanner says there are simple ways to protect yourself.

“The things that they’re taking that we’ve found are bags. Gym bags, laptop bags, duffel bags, purses, electronic devices, those kinds of things,” Tanner said. “If you can see those from the outside of your car through your windows, you need to take those inside with you and secure them and then lock your car door, taking the keys with you.”

It’s a lesson Mason says has now changed his normal routine.

“I come out every night before I go to bed now and make sure they do click closed and locked,” Mason said of his car doors.

Police are putting the message out in hopes that others will change their habits too,

“We can’t give crime an inch,” Tanner said. “We all need to do our part to protect ourselves and our property and our community, and that’s a simple easy thing that we can all do to work together to fight crime.”

If you have any information or any home security videos, contact the Plainfield Police Department’s tip line at 317-754-5200.

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