Authorities Search For Suspects In String of Car Break-Ins

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Washington County Sheriff's Deputies are searching for suspects in a string of car break-ins, and the thieves are targeting women's purses.

"I always take my purse with me. It's not a good idea to leave it in the car, " resident Tammy Wilson says.

This woman has the right idea, unfortunately some others around Washington County did not.

Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Lockhart says, "vehicles were entered, some of the windows were broken and ladies purses were removed from those vehicles."

A string of vehicle break-ins throughout the county in a single day leaves 4 women without their purses, something that most women feel bare without.

Resident, Sue McKnight says, "if I leave my car, my purse is always with me. I never leave anything in my car that might attract someone to break in."

It's happening during daylight hours and local business parking lots are the target of the thefts.

Deputy Lockhart adds, "all of the ones we investigated yesterday (Monday) were located at businesses. Nursing homes. Convenience stores. Things of that nature."

The stolen items were left in plain sight.

"The purses were left on the front seat of all the vehicles," Deputy Lockhart says.

Because the thieves are breaking windows, simply locking your car won't help. So law enforcement recommends if you have to keep your purse in the car, to leave it in your trunk.

Deputy Lockhart says, "it may take a little longer and might be a deterrent from someone taking those items."

No suspects are named, but deputies say the thieves have a plan.

"These individuals may just be hanging outside the business waiting for the right opportunity, someone not paying attention. They could be outside that business for several minutes pacing around walking around. They could also be parked in a vehicle. It's unusual for someone to park near a convenience store or something like that and not go inside and purchase anything," Deputy Lockhart says.

The suspects aren't necessarily targeting specific people. The break-ins are just crimes of opportunity.

"They're watching that place and at the opportune time, they're taking the easiest thing they can get and get away with," Deputy Lockhart says.

If you have any information on the break-ins, call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 740-376-7070 Ext. 0.

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