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Crime & Courts

Downers Grove police investigate August car burglary spree

DOWNERS GROVE – A spree of car burglaries in mid-August accounts for about half of the vehicle break-ins that occurred during the month, Downers Grove Police Chief Kurt Bluder said.

Fourteen cars were burglarized overnight Aug. 14 and 15, he said.

Thirty-three car burglaries were reported through Aug. 19, a significant jump from July when 17 burglaries were reported, Bluder said. There were 12 car burglaries reported in June, he said.

Only eight cars were burglarized in August 2016, while 20 vehicles were broken into during July 2016, Bluder said.

The burglaries over the past two months have occurred throughout the village.

“A majority seem to be west of Main Street,” Bluder said. “It seems spread out. Most of them are overnight. It’s mostly residential neighborhoods.”

Police have not received reports of car burglaries in the downtown area, retail malls or apartment and condominium complexes.

Offenders prefer to avoid large parking lots because they are typically well-lit and more heavily traveled than residential neighborhoods, Bluder said.

Police do not have any suspects in the spree.

“It could be teenagers,” Bluder said. “I don’t know.”

He added, however, that the mid-August spree indicates “it might be a little more organized."

Loose change, wallets and GPS units were stolen from several cars, according to police reports. Cellphones and laptop computers also have been reported stolen. Some vehicle owners reported their cars were searched, but nothing was taken, reports stated.

All of the burglarized vehicles were unlocked, Bluder said.

“You get comfortable,” he said. “It’s a nice town. It’s a quiet town. The biggest thing [residents] can do is lock their doors.”

Bluder advised residents to park their cars in the driveway rather than on the street.

He also advised residents to “look out for your neighbors” and call police if something seems out of place in their neighborhood. Residents take notice of a car that seems out of place or a running car stopped between houses.

“Nothing is too small to give us a call,” Bluder said.

Police have increased patrols using unmarked squad cars in neighborhoods where burglaries have occurred, he said.

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