Cleveland Police investigate rash of auto burglaries - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland Police investigate rash of auto burglaries

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - Car burglars are targeting a Cleveland neighborhood and police hope home video surveillance will help track down the suspected criminals. In the span of a week, police have responded to 34 car burglaries in the city, eight of those in a Northwest Cleveland subdivision.

It is advice that you have heard from police time and time again, lock your car doors at night. In this case Cleveland Police say criminals are just looking for opportunity.

"It doesn't take any more than 10 seconds to open up a car door, reach in there and grab something and get out," says Evie West, with the Cleveland Police Department.

Cleveland Police are very busy this week working dozens of car break-ins. 

"We've had 34 total in the city," says West.

Officer West says there has not been any damage reported.

"As of yet, we haven't had any shattered windows or anything like that."

But numerous valuable items have been stolen.

"We call these crimes of opportunities where people will walk by a car, check the handle. If it's unlocked, they'll get in and steal whatever they can. And that's from lose change to GPS systems to notebooks and tablets," says West.

Eight of the break-ins happened in a neighborhood off Mouse Creek Road. 

"Although it might not be as clear as you would see them with your eyes, people, they way they stand, they way they walk, the way they dress, someone will look at them and say, 'Oh, that's so and so.'"

"Someone's watch got stolen, about $500," says Lashaun Porter.

Porter lives in the neighborhood. While his car was not hit this time around, he can relate because it has happened to him before.

"Took my hunting knife. That's about it though. That's all they got. I didn't really like it because I like to go hunting. If I would have got me a deer this year I wouldn't have had nothing to cut it with," says Porter.

Neighbors and police say they want these guys caught.

"I hope the people doing it, I hope they get caught and justice is served. And people need to start locking their doors," says Porter.

Cleveland Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 423-559-3321. A reward is being offered for the identification and arrest of these individuals.

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