CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Charleston police have a juvenile in custody in connection to vehicle break-ins around Louden Heights dating back to last year.
The 17-year-old was picked up Sunday after he was found lurking around a neighborhood in the South Hills area. The suspect had several sacks filled with stolen goods worth hundreds of dollars. Police found GPS devices, Ipods, sunglasses, CDs and radios.
Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said the teen confessed he’d been stealing items from vehicles for four months.
“We’re going back through some reports as far back as December to see if anything matches up with what the suspect gave us during the interview,” according to Cooper.
He said most of the break-ins were crimes of opportunity.
“Most of them have been people who left their vehicles unlocked. There has not been much glass breakage in that area,” Cooper said.
Meanwhile, Charleston detectives are also investigating another string of vehicles break-ins on the city’s East End near the state capitol. Nearly a dozen have been reported in the past couple of weeks and some of those were smash and grabs.
“If you leave an iPad or iPod or a laptop or cash or a checkbook or a credit card, they’re going to break in and steal it,” said Cooper. “If they see something that’s going to get them several hundred dollars in quick fashion they’re going to break in.”
Cooper stressed the East End break-ins are not related to those in South Hills. They have DNA from the East End crimes and a different suspect who has been questioned.
“In cases like these, the thieves are generally junkies. What they’ll do is steal your items, which may have your personal information, and then they take them to a centralized source who tries to resell them,” explained Cooper. “They get a few dollars so they can go get some heroin or pills. That’s their daily routine, that’s their job is to steal from you.”
If you have been a victim of one of these vehicle break-ins, call the Charleston Police with your information.