EGR police chief on recent break-ins: ‘Bad guys don’t have borders’

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EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The East Grand Rapids police chief says the people responsible for a recent string of vehicle break-ins may be community outsiders.

Officers say since April, eight vehicles have been stolen from East Grand Rapids; six of those crimes happened since the beginning of August. The two most recent vehicle thefts happened during the overnight hours of Oct. 3 and Oct. 13. Officers say in every case, the vehicles were unlocked with the keys left inside the vehicle.

In addition, thieves targeted 10 unlocked vehicles during the early morning hours this month, stealing items from each of them. A bicycle was also stolen from an unlocked garage.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of locking your car doors,” Captain Rick Buikema stated in a Thursday news release. “We work very hard to create a safe community, but it’s important to remember that ‘bad guys’ don’t have borders. They may come from other communities searching for easy targets – like unlocked cars.”

Police believe the crimes are related; however, no arrests have been made.

Buikema is urging residents to make sure their vehicles are locked and call 911 if they see something suspicious.

“It takes a half-second to lock your car, which could be the difference between keeping your property safe and having it stolen,” stated Buikema.