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December 5, 2012

Rash of car breaks plagues Newburyport's South End

NEWBURYPORT — No target is too small for those behind a recent wave of car breaks that have victimized more than a dozen people in the city over the last few weeks. And in all cases, the cars rifled through were unlocked, according to local police.

Over the last week alone, there has been at least 12 car breaks spanning five different days. While the breaks have occurred across the city, the highest concentration of incidents has taken place in the South End between Federal and Marlboro streets.

Newburyport police Inspector Matthew Simons said the cars involved have been parked on streets, in off-street parking facilities, in driveways and on two occasions inside an unlocked garage.

“They’re looking for the easiest thing possible,” Simons said.

In one case, the thief travelled up a long driveway and broke into an unlocked car, stealing cash earmarked for a person needing money to pay for cancer treatments.

“The large majority (of car breaks) are probably by the same individual or individuals,” Simons said, adding thieves have mostly stolen cash, but on a few occiasions have made off with iPods, GPS devices and jewelry.

With that in mind, police are urging residents to follow a few simple steps to make their vehicles less palatable to would-be thieves. In addition to locking cars, residents should remove all valuables in the car, including cash and loose change. Should one need to leave something in a parked car, place the items in the trunk and lock it.

Those victimized are asked to report the theft, no matter how insignificant, to the Police Department. Anyone noticing suspicious behavior is also encouraged to call police, Simons said.

“The strongest deterrent is for the vehicle to be locked,” Simons said.

The Police Department is working diligently to apprehend the individual or people responsible for these breaks. Those with information regarding the breaks are asked to call the department at 978-462-4411

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