Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ice Pick is New Car Key for Burglars

(Reports coming in from GA, MA, and IL)
...The unknown sharp object penetrates the door metal, hits the lock mechanism and disengages it. The burglar or burglars slip inside the vehicle without having to break a window or otherwise heavily damage the car, which would call attention to themselves.

Because the damage is minor, the owners may not realize they are victims until they notice items missing from the car or items that were moved. The puncture hole that the intruders leave under the lock, usually on the driver's-side door, is only up to about a half-inch in diameter.

The thieves prefer to hit General Motors cars, Golike said.

"Most were GM vehicles," he said. "Many of the GM cars have a lock mechanism that somebody's familiar with."

He said some of the cars were Dodges.

The thieves target just about anything of value, including cash, wallets, purses and guns left in the cars.

The first such "punch" car burglary reported in the greater Alton area happened to a vehicle owned by Telegraph Photo Editor John Badman. That burglary happened Sept. 23 while his Chevrolet Impala was parked in the parking lot of Fast Eddie's Bon-Air tavern along East Broadway. The tavern is at 1530 E. Broadway.

Once inside the car, the burglar popped the lid of the trunk, making off with $14,000 in camera equipment - after first relocking the car door. (more) (more) (more)