54W stores hit by auto break-ins

Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:09pm
By: John Munford

Residents asked to report suspicious persons

Peachtree City police are warning residents about an increase in entering auto cases at shopping centers along Ga. Highway 54 West over the past few weeks.

Thieves have been using a tool to “punch” out vehicle locks to get inside and steal valuables, police said. Ford and Lincoln vehicles — particularly pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles — are being targeted, police said.

Such cases have been reported in shopping centers including Westpark Walk, The Avenue, Marketplace and the Walmart/Home Depot shopping area, police said.

Shoppers are being asked to be on the alert for any suspicious persons in parking lots. Police are asking residents to note physical descriptions of suspicious people and tag numbers of vehicles.

Citizens should avoid approaching or confronting suspicious persons, police urge.

The thefts are occurring at different times of day, police said.

Thieves are targeting vehicles with valuables including GPS units, laptop computers, purses, money, cellphones and various other valuable items, police said. Police are recommending that all such valuables be removed from view, and particularly that purses and money not be left inside vehicles.

Suspicious activity should be reported immediately to police via the Fayette County Communications Center at 770-461-4357.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call police detectives at 770-631-2510 or the crime and narcotics information hotline at 770-487-6010. Callers may remain anonymous.

Some of the entering auto cases have involved vehicles which were unlocked, police said, suggesting that everyone should lock their car doors.

Since January police have seen an increase of entering auto cases throughout the city. But the recent incidents have shown an increase in the number of vehicles being forced open, police said.

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Shoebox's picture
Submitted by Shoebox on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 11:44am.

my side car window was broken out while my car was parked not 50 feet off Hwy 54 and in front of the building where I worked, which was just at the Peachtree City/Fayetteville line. The officer who came out was in disbelief why anyone would do this. Within a few months, I met someone who had had her car broken into in the same manner up in Atlanta and the police told her that it was happening all over Atlanta. Again, several months passed when my home in Fayetteville was vandalized...it was then, that I came to believe that Fayetteville was NOT the town it USED to be and I wondered to myself, "Gee...what has happened to this place?"

Submitted by BenAthar on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 9:38am.

It seems that there is more crime coming in part from the way PTC residents are living. Not thinking that it will happen in our backyards (think NIMBY=not in my back yard)but it is because the economy is bad right now and no one is concerned that it will happen to them. Plus not all of Wal-Marts camera's are actually working. Some are just for show, although it seems to be happening around the west side of PTC mostly, so what does that tell you? Guess the cops are looking more for speeders than patrolling the shops being hit.

ptctaxpayer's picture
Submitted by ptctaxpayer on Mon, 04/20/2009 - 5:58am.

Back in the apartment days, my buddies truck got broken in to twice. Same deal--- broken window, great stereo gone. My friend was determined not to back down. So, he put an extra floor mat in when he replaced the car stereo and the final installation was a row of treble fish hooks under the car stereo. This third time he had a broken window, a couple of blood smears on the way out but no loss of car stereo and no repeats ! As for your home, how about a spring gun?

Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 9:19pm.

The myth is that the cameras in some Walmart parking lot ateas are there to help slow the rate of crime. thats a falsehood, the camera's are usually only brought into any location s part of what some refer to as " Union Busting Package " . Its design is NOT to monitior the parking lot for crime, but for Union activity.

Walmart is more interested in keeping its employees under it thimbs, than you cars, trcuks etc by their store while your shopping...

Camera's a great tool to have AFTER an event has occured, but it does little to stop anything from happening. Economics, lack of repesct, and the slow decay of this once fine county are the root causes. Lets don't forget the transpants, the illgeals and others who now call Fayette County home.. Given the fact Fayette County now feels like a safe zone for many ,we'll see more crime coming to our county as the years pass...If we ever decide to tie into any other counties public transportation system, I hope not, the crime rate will even go higher! Given the size of the county, and the open areas, its easy to see why more people with bad intentions are coming to this county. I know for a fact after talking to one deputy, there have been times the county has had a little as 4 active units to control the whole county on a SAT/SUN early morning shift!

Crime rate is up now, its up to see how we as citizens of this county demand more from our elscted officals to address this growing problem.

Submitted by wildcat on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 8:07am.

....and you'll find dirty socks, muddy cleats, half empty gatorade bottles, a stray flipflop, an old mouthpiece and a sleeping bag!! Go for it...we'll call it spring cleaning!!

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 7:55pm.

I saw a car with a Clayton County tag earlier. Should I report that?

Submitted by fluffybear on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 7:48pm.

Aren't the lots in many of these centers protected by surveillance cameras? I know for a fact that the Wal-Mart and Home Depot lots are.

Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 3:29pm.

More and more we'll read about this due the counties current economic situation.. Also, people simply do not repsct others property or belongings anymore.

Why go out and earn, when they would rather steal it from someone else..Maybe someone needs to find some money to pay for those expensive new rims or boom boxes.

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