East Hawaii News

Police Warn Against Surge of Car Break-ins

March 21, 2013, 7:16 PM HST
* Updated March 21, 7:18 PM
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Hawaiʻi Island police are alerting the public to a recent series of automobile break-ins on the Big Island.

According to HPD, 35 cars were broken into at parks, shopping centers and homes in the South Hilo district over the months of January and February.

Of those, 27 illegal entries involved cars or trucks that had been left unlocked. The remaining eight had been forced open after valuable items were left in plain view.

During the same time period, police in Kona reported 31 cases of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and Puna officers responded to 25 complaints of illegal automobile entry.

Captain Robert Wagner offered some common sense advice for the public, stating “If you lock your vehicle doors and don’t leave items of value in plain view, it is highly unlikely you will be the victim of a car break-in.”

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Wagner also warned “car break-ins in many cases contribute to identity theft, as thieves often target vehicles with purses left in plain view.”

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The captain also noted that in the past thieves have stolen cars whose keys were left in the ignition, even when the drivers had only been away from the vehicle briefly.

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