Authorities urge precautions following vehicle thefts

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2006

Following a short series of petty thefts near Brookhaven HighSchool during the last week, law enforcement officials arereminding residents to take steps to prevent thefts of items leftin vehicles.

“We will do our job. We just want the public to help us byconcealing items and locking their doors,” said Brookhaven PoliceChief Pap Henderson.

Personal items have been stolen from three unlocked vehiclessince Friday at the high school, where students are participatingin a summer band camp, the chief said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Cellular phones were taken from two vehicles Friday, and somecash and a satellite radio were taken from a third vehicle Tuesday,Henderson said.

Two juveniles were arrested Wednesday in connection with theTuesday theft and the radio was recovered. They will be arraignedin Youth Court today, he said.

The Friday thefts appear to be unrelated to the Tuesday theft,Henderson said. However, he expects the Friday thefts to have beenconducted by the same person.

“We do have a suspect that we are looking for,” Henderson said.”I feel very strongly that it’s going to be the same person.”

The chief said in all three theft cases, items were in plainview in the vehicle and the doors were unlocked.

Cellular phones are prohibited on school campuses by districtpolicy, the chief said, so many students leave them in thevehicle.

When it is necessary to have them, cellular phones are smallenough to hide in consoles, under seats or virtually anywhere in avehicle to remove them from plain view, he said.

“Leaving things in open view is very tempting,” Henderson said.”We need to start concealing stuff.”

Repairs to a vehicle are often more expensive than the itemstaken, he said.

Police patrols around the high school have been increasedfollowing the thefts, the chief said.

Normally, patrols are not increased around school campuses untilstudents return in August, Henderson said. In addition, officershave been stationed on campus during school hours for more than adecade.