18 cars broken into in one night | SierraSun.com

18 cars broken into in one night

Nik Dirga, Sierra Sun

A miniature crime spree rushed through Truckee Monday night, when at least 18 vehicles at homes in the Glenshire and Sierra Meadows areas were broken into.

“There were 18 (break-ins) reported for last night so far,” said Truckee Police Department Sgt. Dan Johnston on Tuesday. “And that’s just what was reported E I’m assuming there were more.”

Most of the cars that were broken into were unlocked, but some of them had windows smashed to gain access, Johnston said. The break-ins occurred mostly between 10 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The target of the thefts appeared to mostly be high-end stereo equipment, he said, but many other things were also stolen.

“Anything else that happened to be of value in the car was taken,” he said. “At this point (there were) hundreds of CDs that were stolen, over a dozen car stereos, probably close to a dozen cell phones, briefcases, one laptop computer, snowboard equipment, skiing equipment, and almost anything else miscellaneous that wasn’t nailed down that would look like it’d have some value to it.”

One Glenshire couple was hit twice by Monday’s thefts.

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Bill and Jackie Aldridge had two cars broken into; the window was smashed on one of them.

“It’s getting so bad up here,” said Jackie Aldridge.

Car burglaries aren’t uncommon in Truckee by any means. Recently TPD detectives have warned the public about leaving vehicles at trailheads or parking lots with valuables left inside.

But these latest thefts take car burglary to a new level by having the criminals break into them at the owner’s own home.

“This is right in people’s driveways and parked out in front of their houses,” Johnston noted. “There were car windows smashed even within the driveways of a person’s home while they were presumably inside.”

Johnston said that the crimes may be the work of an organized group, possibly from out of town, and that the investigation is ongoing.

“(In some cars) the crooks pried off the dashboard of the vehicle causing extensive damage to get to the stereo,” he said. “It was done in such a way that it appears they knew what they were doing.”

In his investigation, Johnston also found that too often, neighbors to the burglarized homes noted something suspicious, but did not call the police.

“In several instances here people heard either windows breaking, dogs barking and on at least two occasions, people actually saw individuals walking by looking into vehicles,” he said.

The Aldridges are hoping to get their own neighbors to keep their eyes open, Jackie said.

“We’re going to go ahead and try to get everyone here to do some kind of neighborhood watch,” she said. “We lock our (home) doors at night but I still know people that don’t.”

The police department is also encouraging locals to stay alert.

“We need a little help on this,” Johnston said. “With anything suspicious do not assume that it’s too small or that it’s a bother. Call the police.”

Jackie Aldridge was hopeful that the perpetrators of Monday’s thefts would be caught and punished.

“I hope they get their little butts spanked,” she said.

If you had a vehicle broken into or have any information that may help in the investigation, call the TPD at (530) 550-2320.