One man says he’s concerned about a string of car break-ins and wants to warn others to take extra care in protecting their belongings.
“I’ve grown up always having my doors unlocked and never worrying about anybody doing anything living in a safe area. Even in a safe area, they’ll come and target you,” says Wesley Philips, who lives near Old Mountain Road NE.
Philips used to leave his doors unlocked. Now, he says, he’s changed that habit.
“I used to. Not anymore. Not after the other night,” says Philips.
A string of car break-ins happened in his residential neighborhood Wednesday night. Philips believes the thieves are checking car doors and opening ones left unlocked. And once inside, any valuables left behind, are being taken.
Philips realized Thursday morning a backpack with his medication was missing from the car. His wife’s wallet was also missing from a second vehicle. His friend across the street had a laptop stolen.
“I was like, he probably just misplaced it somewhere. But then it was like ok, now I’m missing something,” says Philips.
The Roanoke Police Department says there have been 20 car break-ins on or near the Old Mountain Road area since the beginning of the year. The department also noted that numbers increased dramatically in mid-August. In the past few months, there have been 14 reported break-ins.
“I used to trust this neighborhood and not have any issue with leaving my house and cars unlocked. But now it’s like you have to lock it up because you can’t trust anyone. And it sucks,” says Philips.
Now he wants to urge others to be cautious and diligent in locking their doors. And to secure valuables to avoid being the next target.
The Roanoke Police Department recently joined the 9PM Routine on social media. It’s a reminder to make locking your car doors, removing valuables from your car, and locking your front door part of your nightly routine.