INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - In Independence County, not only is the temperature going up, but so is theft. Investigators with the Sheriff's Department says the majority of culprits have been juveniles. Detective Mike Mundy with the Independence County Sheriff's Department says it's something they tend to see this time of year when the kids get out of school for the summer. But what teenagers may find fun at the time, can land them in trouble with the law.
"A lot of these kids I don't think it's something they planned. It's just hey lets do this," said Mundy.
The Independence County Sheriff's Department has seen an increase in all types of theft from commercial to residential. But since the summer started, one of the biggest problems has been vehicle break-ins. According to the department's 2011 violation report, from May to June, the number of vehicle break-ins has more than doubled. And from the arrests officers have already made, there has been one common denominator.
"In the last two weeks, we've made several arrests of juveniles. Our patrol officers are doing a great job. We actually caught a couple of juveniles the other night going through cars, actually in the car," said Mundy.
And according to Mundy, the crooks don't have to make much of an effort. "We've had numerous ones where we made an arrest and we'd asked them, how did you decided which car to go to? They'd says that one was unlocked. If it was locked, then we'd move on to the next one," said Mundy.
He says thieves will often steal everything from i-pods, debit cards, G-P-S devices, and even prescription drugs, which brings us to the obvious conclusion.
"Please lock your vehicles. Don't leave your debit cards. Don't leave your check book, things like that do not leave those valuables in that car at night. There's the possibility they might be gone," said Mundy.
Mundy says they've done really well the last couple of weeks making arrests, but wants to warn citizens to be aware.