PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Paragould Police Department is investigating a series of automobile break-ins that happened over the weekend.
Detective Scott Snyder said the department received 13 initial reports of vehicle break-ins in homes on Roberts Drive, N. 9th Street, N. 9th ½ Street, Morrow, and near Highway 135.
He said the number of reports increased to at least 16, and the thieves did not have to literally break in the vehicles.
Detective Snyder said every one of the cars was unlocked.
"Folks actually have a nickname for it. "They call it ‘hitting a lick', and there are crews that go out and that's what they do. They'll go to a neighborhood, and they'll specifically target vehicles that are unlocked."
Sheila Anderson lives on Roberts Drive near where some of the thefts occurred. She said crime is not typical in her neighborhood, but since hearing about the thefts she makes sure her car is locked every night.
"Usually the people that come through to take items is not from this neighborhood. They're going to be from somewhere else," said Anderson.
Police said cash, a laptop, a bank bag and a portable DVD system are among the items reported stolen.
"We have developed a couple of leads. One witness did give us a physical description that was beneficial," said Detective Snyder.
He encourages people not to give criminals easy access to their homes or their cars.
"The biggest advice that I would have is don't leave anything in your vehicle that you're not prepared to lose."
Anyone with information about the thefts should call the Paragould Police Department at (870) 236-7621.