July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Brunswick police: Thieves are targeting vehicles of Christmas shoppers

BRUNSWICK — After thieves smashed windows on three residents’ cars, police are warning Christmas shoppers to be careful about leaving gifts out in the open in their parked vehicles.

“Put things in trunks where people can’t see, and don’t leave high-dollar items in your car,” Police Chief Carl DeForest said.

Carl DeForest

DeForest recommends people put valuables out of sight before they reach the parking lot. Better yet, if you are able, just leave GPS units and other electronics at home, he said.

At 5:48 p.m. Tuesday, a window was found smashed on a car in the parking lot of Buehler’s on Center Road. Nothing was reported stolen.

At 6:40 p.m. that day, a window was reported broken on a man’s vehicle while he was attending a basketball game at Edwards Middle School. An iPhone was stolen.

At 1:54 p.m. Sunday, a resident reported a window was broken on her vehicle parked at the Brunswick Community Recreation and Fitness Center. Nothing was reported stolen.

According to police reports, all the cars with broken windows appeared to have pry marks. Police believe the vandal used some type of crowbar to smash the windows after they couldn’t be forced down. In all the incidents, only one vehicle in each parking lot sustained damage, but DeForest said that’s not unusual.

“A lot of times, they just walk through the parking lot looking for items in plain sight,” DeForest said. “They smash the window, grab (the item) and run. Then they go somewhere else to scope it out. They very seldom stay in one lot.”

In addition to keeping expensive items in a trunk, DeForest urged people to cover belongings that might be visible with a jacket or a blanket.

Parking in a spot with good lighting also is a way to try to avoid being a victim this holiday season, he said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.