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Thefts from cars rising in Fredericksburg

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Fredericksburg authorities report an increase in thefts of items from inside vehicles over the past few months, city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

And while thefts often are from unlocked cars, thieves recently have become bolder.

Over the weekend, for example, three people returned to their vehicles from local businesses to find someone had broken a car window to steal a purse left inside, according to police reports.

And on Monday that trend continued.

The reports include:

An employee at Joe’s Crab Shack in Central Park who returned to her vehicle about 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

An employee at the Central Park Cracker Barrel who left a purse in her car at 3 p.m. Sunday and returned an hour and 45 minutes later to find the same thing.

A patron at Regal Cinemas on Plank Road who left her car at 10:20 p.m. Sunday and returned a little more than two hours later.

A patron at TGI Fridays on Carl D. Silver Parkway who left her car at 2:40 p.m. Monday and returned 50 minutes later to find a broken window and missing purse.

A patron at Funland on Central Park Boulevard who left her car at 1 p.m. Monday and returned almost three hours later to find her windshield smashed and her purse gone from the seat of her car.

A woman who entered Gold’s Gym at 2380 Plank Road at 5 p.m. Monday and returned to her car an hour and a half later to find a broken window and missing purse. A second vehicle was found in the parking lot with a broken window, but nothing was reported stolen.

“All of those are places you can be pretty certain the person is going to be away [from the car] for a certain period of time, at least an hour,” Bledsoe said.

She said people should avoid leaving valuables in a car. If they can’t avoid it, then they need to put them in the trunk or out of sight.

In a busy commercial area, people need to consider that thieves could be lurking nearby.

“Don’t discount that there is someone there waiting in the parking lot” to break into the vehicle, Bledsoe said.

And she said that safety and security need to be practiced at home, too.

She noted that people frequently leave purses in their cars in their driveways—routinely in unlocked vehicles—apparently thinking nothing will happen on their own property.

But Bledsoe said residents need to guard their belongings wherever they go.

“People could really help us out by not becoming an easy target,” she said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972


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