Thieves break into seven cars

Michael Lewis

Once a thief, always a thief – or so the saying goes.

Whether it is true, who knows, but one thing is for certain.

At least four residents on Crain Avenue in Kent will keep their doors locked and their valuables out of sight after a recent string of thefts in the area.

In a 12-hour period, from about 10 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Friday, seven vehicle break-ins occurred within a few blocks of each other north of Main Street and east of Mantua. Six of the victims were Kent State students.

The thief, or thieves, got away with more than $5,000 worth of merchandise. And that’s before vehicle repairs.

Locked doors did not stop these bandits. They either drilled through the locks or simply went around them. In a few cases, a brick through the window worked just as well.

Whether the crimes are connected, no one could say.

Senior marketing major Rachael Miller said somebody popped her passenger side door lock and stole her purse, laptop and 0television.

“Yeah, they stole my purse, you know, my whole life,” Miller said. “It turned out to be a pretty good night for whoever went shopping.”

Miller’s friend, Heather Peairs, a senior business management major, said this is the second time her car has been broken into. This time, they got her on the driver side.

“I thought I lived in a decent neighborhood,” Peairs said.

Because the perpetrator drilled around the keyhole, Peairs must replace the whole door. Though her insurance is picking up the tab, the total cost of repairs exceeds $1,000.

Another victim, Sarah Garber, a junior communication major, said when the cops arrived, they told her she was the sixth car that night to report damage. Garber said more damage was done to her car than the amount of property that was stolen from it.

“They only got twenty bucks from me, and some expired credit cards,” Garber said. “If I would’ve known they were going to break into my car, I would’ve unlocked it.”

Kent Police Lt. Michelle Lee said when students return from break, either in the summer, winter or spring, these types of crimes occur.

“People know kids have their cars full of things,” Lee said. “Criminals know it’s a good time to look for merchandise in vehicles.”

Lee offered some advice: “Be aware there is stuff in your car. Keep it locked up and out of plain sight, or put it in the trunk.”

If offenders of these crimes are caught, victims can pursue civil court suits after the perpetrators face criminal charges. Parents of juvenile offenders can be sued for up to $10,000.

Contact safety reporter Michael Lewis at [email protected].