Berks

Thieves hitting unlocked vehicles in Spring, police say

'If the car's locked, they usually leave it alone'

SPRING TWP., Pa. - A string of auto thefts is responsible for boosting Spring Township's crime statistics, according to the township's police chief.

Chief Bryan Ross presented his monthly report to the board of supervisors Monday evening. The report showed an increase in thefts throughout the township.

The township incurred 26 thefts in February, with 39 so far in 2018, while experiencing 48 in all of 2017, according to the report. Ross said a majority of the thefts were vehicle-related.

"It's kind of sporadic," he said. "When we get them, we'll get 10 or 15 in a block — mainly unlocked vehicles," Ross said. "They rifle through and take small items."

Ross said the thefts were not concentrated in a specific area, but were scattered throughout the township.

He noted that thieves have targeted catalytic converters, cutting them off and selling them for scrap or on the black market for the valuable metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

He said such thefts are unusual.

According to Ross, Springside Manor and Wilson Court were targeted during the day, and thieves struck vehicles parked overnight at apartment complexes in Lincoln Park and Cornwall Terrace, where 11 of the reported thefts occurred to unlocked vehicles.

Ross also said a vehicle was stolen on February 12 because the vehicle's owner left the keys inside it.

"It kind of goes in spurts," Ross said. "We might not have any more the rest of the year, but they've been hitting all around us. Cumru had some. If the car's locked, they usually leave it alone."


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