Hoover Police seeing increase in identity theft from vehicle break-ins

Police say locking doors is best protection
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Hoover Police say having surveillance cameras is not enough to protect you from car burglars.

Hoover PD arrested three teenagers last week for multiple car break ins and they were able to make those arrests because someone saw the suspects.

“They were pulling on car handles to try and get into any vehicle they could find unlocked,” Lt. Daniel Lowe said. “As officers were entering the complex, the suspect vehicle was leaving, and saw the police and decided to flee at a high speed.”

Lowe said the teens crashed into another car and were arrested. They were charged with a total of four car break ins.

“They are looking for vehicles that are unlocked,” Lowe said. “They’ll pull on it until they find one and find something they can take out of a vehicle”

Break ins this year are on the same pace as last year according to Lowe, but it’s happening in residential neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and businesses.

“The thieves only need a minute or two to get in your car and take what is there,” Lowe said. “We are seeing a lot where people have only left their car for only a few minutes. Especially in business parking lots, where people are once again looking for a crime of opportunity so, make sure your vehicle is locked.”

Lt. Daniel Lowe said majority of their break ins are unlocked cars and having security video or doorbell footage isn’t enough to prevent it from happening to you.

“It helps, but being proactive instead of reactive is certainly better,” he said. “It’s the first thing we check for in our investigation, but it depends on what the video is and what it shows.”

Lowe said thieves are taking anything they can find, including stealing your personal information.

“Another crime that is something we are dealing with a lot is identity theft,” Lowe said. “In these car break ins, you’ll see credit cards taken, checkbooks taken, things that can be used sometimes weeks or months later and to take money that way.”

Lowe said the only way to prevent a break in is locking your door and not leaving anything valuable in the car. He said they see smashed windows when items are left in plain site and parking in well-lit areas can also help.

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