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Detectives: Thieves again target unlocked vehicles, break-ins reach near 50

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

Thieves removed electronics, cash and credit cards this month from vehicles located along N.C. 150 East and a neighborhood northeast of Lincolnton, county detectives said.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incidents which reportedly took place in the Arden Oaks subdivision, particularly along Arden Road, Huckleberry Drive, Oaklin Lane, Fran Avenue, Caprice Drive and the 2500 to 3100 block of N.C. 150 East.

Area residents contacted the Sheriff’s Office on Friday and told deputies they discovered a number of belongings missing from their vehicles when leaving their homes for work and school.

All of the vehicles were unlocked at the time of the break-ins, deputies said.

“Out of the last 45 to 50 vehicle break-ins that have been reported (over recent months),” Lt. Tim Johnson said, “only one person said their vehicle was locked.”

This month’s investigation follows similar incidents that occurred in Iron Station in February and March.

Johnson said in an agency press release that thieves rarely target locked vehicles “because they want to get in and out of the area” quickly.

The Sheriff’s Office has issued residents a number of tips for keeping items safe inside vehicles including storing them out of plain sight, parking under a street light or leaving exterior lights on overnight, placing items inside the trunk or, most importantly, locking the vehicle.

“Lock it, or lose it,” the release said.

Anyone who spots suspicious activity near an area vehicle is asked to call 911, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at (704) 732-9050, the Communications Center at (704) 735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at (704) 736-8909.

Each agency investigates all tips received.

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