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Three teens face charges in connection to a rash of vehicle break-ins that occurred earlier this month.
On Jan. 3, police responded to the 1200 block of Kingswood Road NW to four residents reporting car break-ins, according to police.
While investigating those break-ins, officers received reports of a similar rash of vehicle break-ins in the 3200 block of Cranberry Ridge Drive, Slate Court and Feldspar Court, said Wilson Police Capt. Eric Smith.
During the spree, police said, a .38-caliber revolved was stolen along with a silver Buick Regal. That Buick was discovered a short time later, abandoned in the 300 block of Tuskegee Street, police said.
Smith said investigators have not yet been able to recover the stolen firearm, but are diligently working to recover it. All vehicles involved in the rash of break-ins were unlocked, police said.
Police said while reviewing residential video footage from the areas of the break-ins, investigators discovered that the perpetrators were operating a vehicle that had been reported stolen on Dec. 16.
Smith said as a result of a thorough investigation and the video evidence obtained from residential surveillance cameras in both areas, police charged three juveniles — two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old — in the case.
Each juvenile is charged with two counts of felony larceny of a motor vehicle, eight counts of felony breaking and entering into a motor vehicle, one count of felony larceny of a firearm and one count of misdemeanor larceny.
Police ask anyone with information regarding these cases to contact the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.
Officials say it’s vital for residents to make sure their car doors are always locked and valuables are removed. Some residents might not lock their cars in fear that a thief will break windows or damage their vehicle.
While it’s a possibility, it’s an exception more than a rule, officials have said.
Most perpetrators don’t want to take the risk of making a loud noise when breaking into a vehicle. It’s better for them to target unlocked cars so that they can get away quietly, according to police.
Thieves often go from driveway to driveway in residential neighborhoods lifting car door handles to see if they are unlocked, officials said. It takes just seconds for thieves to get their hands on valuables, including guns, because it’s easy. The peak time when thieves target unlocked cars is usually between midnight and 6 a.m.
Police also urge residents to dial 911 or call the police department if they see anything suspicious in their neighborhood. Residents should also record the make, model and serial number of all valuables, including guns and their calibers. This helps police identify stolen items they recover, which are often found at pawn shops.