Pelham PD warning of car break-ins

By ROBYN JAMES | Special to the Reporter

PELHAM – The Pelham Police Department wants to warn local residents of a recent surge in vehicle break-ins happening within city limits.

Just last week, there were eight vehicle break-ins, including a stolen vehicle, from apartment complexes in Pelham.

According to Pelham PD, the criminals committing these crimes often work in groups and will park the car they stole from another victim at their chosen crime scene, walk through the parking lot, and start pulling door handles to see which car is unlocked.

They will take whatever they can get inside the vehicle, leaving the owner victimized by their criminal actions. These bands of thieves are primarily searching for firearms, purses and credit cards inside the vehicles according to Pelham Police.

“Thanks to the dedication of our officers and assistance from our surrounding police and sheriff departments, within a matter of hours we were able to identify and arrest a suspect involved in the vehicle break-ins” said Sergeant and Detective Brad Jordan. “This crime was a little different because the suspect used a window punch to break into the vehicles, which we found in his possession upon arrest, leaving the victims not just suffering a loss of their property, but also now having to get their windows replaced.”

PPD wants residents to know that vehicle break-ins remain a problem in the area, particularly in neighborhoods, gym parking lots, and recently, Oak Mountain State Park.

They want local residents to remain diligent and keep an eye out, but never approach someone you suspect may be committing these crimes. These criminals should be considered armed and have the propensity to react with violence, if confronted.

“The number one rule to remember is thieves typically target electronics, firearms, purses/wallets and cash. Removing those items from your vehicle would go a long way in making this a fruitless exercise for them,” Jordan said.

If you believe you are witnessing a vehicle break-in, or you witness a suspicious individual or group of individuals walking in parking lots close to the vehicles, the police department asks that you call 911.

If it is safe to do so, safely observe them from a distance, to get a good description of the suspect and their vehicle. The police department wants to remind all residents that the public’s safety is their first priority, and if you see something, say something.