A rash of vehicle break-ins throughout the Aiken area this weekend has officers urging residents to lock up their cars and put away their goods.
Break-ins were reported to the Aiken Department of Public Safety on Foxwood Drive, Casaba Drive, Cottonwood Drive, Cottonwood Circle, Partridge Drive, Price Avenue, Banks Mill Road, Columbia Avenue and Lundee Drive. All incidents were reported on Saturday morning.
In nine of the cases, the vehicle was unlocked, according to reports. In two of the incidents, a window was shattered. In another two incidents, the reports did not indicate if the vehicles were secured.
Wallets and purses were reported missing from many of the vehicles, according to reports. A baseball bag and a pair of handcuffs with the owner’s name engraved on them were missing from other vehicles.
In all the incidents, the victims reported that their glove compartments or center consoles were opened and rummaged through.
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office also reported six vehicle break-ins on Saturday and Sunday on Oak Street and Turnbull Street in Gloverville, Lundee Drive in Aiken, Augusta Road in Warrenville and Jefferson Davis Highway in Graniteville.
At least three vehicles were unlocked, according to sheriff’s reports. Money, tools, a stereo and audio equipment were reported missing, while other vehicles weren’t missing anything.
No arrests have been made in the city break-ins, said Capt. David Turno, a spokesman for Aiken Public Safety.
Several of the break-ins happened in the area of Lundee Drive, Casaba Drive, Foxwood Drive and Partridge Drive. Police believe the same person or people are responsible for those incidents.
Two break-ins happened on Price Avenue while the victims were at an event at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center.
“Right now, we can’t connect the other locations,” Turno said. “We don’t have anything to tie all those together at this point. It could be one group, it could be multiple groups.”
Turno urged residents to take some simple precautions to avoid becoming a victim of a break-in.
“A lot of times, people do leave (cars) unlocked, and it’s just an opportunity for people to go through,” he said. “We always encourage people to lock their cars and don’t leave items of value in plain view.”
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at 888-CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.