West Memphis Police worried about rash of car break-ins - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

West Memphis Police worried about rash of car break-ins

West Memphis police need your help tracking down the suspects responsible for a rash of car break-ins.  Police say whoever is behind these car break-ins may have hit more than 30 cars since July in West Memphis alone.  And, police say the victims are making it too easy.

On Roselawn in West Memphis, Jerry Bledsoe realized quickly it wasn't an isolated incident. 

"It was about five houses, I think, just one this one block," he said.

His street was hit hard.  His neighborhood, even harder.  And on the West Memphis city map on the wall in the top offices at the police department, the dots are everywhere.

"In one of the break-ins, they actually took two pistols out of the vehicle.  Both of them were 45 caliber pistols.  In one vehicle, they took a 9 mm pistol from another one," said Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen.  He keeps the map on his wall.

The burglars are taking guns, satellite radios, GPS units, speakers, change and, in one case, a cowboy hat.

Jerry Bledsoe has lived here for 26 years.  He says it's never happened before.  His theory is that Katrina evacuees are behind the burglaries.  "It seemed to kind of coincide with all the new people in town which is probably not a good way to look at it, but it did seem to all happen around the same time," he said.

Chief Allen says it's possible, but that the first rash of burglaries began before the storm.  And, complicating the search for them, the burglars are getting in and out easily.

They get in easily because the victims are all leaving their cars unlocked.

They get out easily because they don't have to break any windows or set off any alarms. 

"They're not breaking car windows at this point.  They're going in unlocked cars.  There have been cases of valuables in cars that were locked up that were not touched," said Allen.

The burglaries were reported in Marion also.  Police are waiting on lab results on some physical evidence they've taken from the scenes.  But they're also offering a $1,000 reward for information.

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