JPD seeing rash of car break-ins, purse snatchers

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's the case of the purse snatchers.

The Jonesboro Police Department is seeing a rash of car break-ins. Since May, there have been 89 reports, many involving stolen purses. 

Lt. Stephen McDaniel said the victims often make it easy for these purse snatchers.

"Many times, the cars are just left unlocked, which is really an invitation for the criminal to just reach in there and take it," McDaniel said. "They get very tempted when they see a purse lying right there within reach. It's as simple as reaching in, grabbing a purse and taking it away."

 Lt. McDaniel said stealing then turns into even more crimes once the criminals discover what is inside the purse.

 "We're dealing with not just the initial break in or that loss, but with the credit card fraud, the forgeries and everything that follows," McDaniel said. "We would rather prevent the crime than go track a criminal down and investigate a crime."

 To prevent this, McDaniel urges all residents to lock up their vehicles.

However, that still does not stop some from breaking in.

"It is very easy to break in and a criminal's not beyond breaking your window to get something valuable," McDaniel said.

Lt. McDaniel said this crime happens all over Jonesboro, from cars parked at sporting events to homes with open garages.

"In your own neighborhood, you still need to take those same precautions," McDaniel said. "We like to say, 'Out of sight. Out of mind.' Lock up your purse or leave it at home." 

Lt. McDaniel said these criminals are not only on the hunt for purses, but also cell phones, other electronics and handguns.

Lt. McDaniel offered safety tips to keep cars and homes safe during the summer months:

  • Keep doors locked at all times
  • Lock windows and secure screens
  • Keep valuable items hidden
  • Have neighbors look out for you
  • Use an alarm system

If anyone plans to go on vacation, Lt. McDaniel offered the following tips:

  • Stop mail and newspapers or have a trusted neighbor collect them
  • Lock windows and doors
  • Don't discuss your trip in public or on social media
  • Give your house a lived-in look with light timers, etc.

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