BOONVILLE — An unknown suspect or suspects entered multiple vehicles in Boonville last week. Police Chief Farron Jester said that primarily unlocked vehicles were targeted.
Jester said the first call came in the morning of Feb. 28 around 5 a.m., and at 7 a.m., multiple calls began coming in regarding break-ins in the area.
Farron said vehicles all around town were targeted from just outside the city limit on N.C. 67 East to Wallace Avenue, Williams Street, Baptist Church Road and Meadowview Drive.
“We got hit pretty hard,” Jester said. A rock was used to break into one of the vehicles and a purse was stolen, but most of the vehicles were unlocked.
Jester said that despite the widespread nature of the spree, there was minimal damage and very little stolen. He reported that one victim said that cash and medication in the vehicle was left untouched. Most of the items stolen were drivers’ licenses and Social Security cards.
Though no suspect or suspects have been identified, Jester speculated that the nature of the crime was for the purpose of identify theft based on the fact that personal information was what was taken.
Several vehicle break-ins also were reported in Yadkinville, though the cases are unrelated. Capt. Dawn Pardue of the Yadkinville Police Department said that two vehicles were broken into via smashed windows on Feb. 25 and 26 at the YMCA. Purses and personal belongings, including cash and debit cards, were taken from both vehicles.
Authorities are on the lookout for a suspect who attempted to use one of the stolen debit cards. The suspect was seen in a Blue 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe with Florida tag 235 -LZA, Pardue said.
In a small rural community, it’s not unusual for residents to leave the doors of their vehicles or homes unlocked and even leave valuables such as pocketbooks with cash and ID cards inside, said Pardue.
“We live in an area where we trust everybody,” Pardue said.
Both she and Jester cautioned area residents, however, to lock up their vehicles and homes and not to leave valuable items visible in locked vehicles.
Jester also asked residents to take notice of any unusual vehicles or foot traffic in their neighborhoods and to report any suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.