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Thefts from unlocked cars connected, St. Robert, Waynesville police say
WAYNESVILLE/SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Aug. 14, 2009) — Local police agencies have a warning for residents of Waynesville, Saint Robert, and adjacent areas of Pulaski County: somebody spent many hours on Wednesday night and Thursday morning stealing items from parked cars.

The thief isn’t breaking in, however: in most and possibly all cases, the thefts happened from unlocked cars parked near the home of the vehicle owner.

“Information obtained is the vehicles were left unlocked and it is believed the suspect or suspects are going around checking for vehicles that are unlocked, and when they find a vehicle unlocked, the suspects have removed items that are in plain view,” said Detective Sgt. Doug Cooley in a prepared statement from the St. Robert Police Department.

Cooley said his departments officers are “asking the general public to take the time to ensure their vehicles are locked and items are not left in the vehicle.”

The problem isn’t confined to St. Robert. Cooley said Waynesville police and Pulaski County deputies had “also taken several reports of the same type of thefts” and officers of all three agencies believe the thefts are connected.

The St. Robert thefts were reported to have happened between 11 p.m. Wednesday night and 7 a.m. Thursday morning. On Friday morning, Waynesville Police Chief Bob Carter reported that his agency is also investigating a series of thefts in his city between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday.

“It is believed that the suspect or suspects are on foot travelling through residential areas looking for unlocked vehicles and entering into them and taking various items. The suspects possibly could be travelling in a vehicle and parking it, then traveling by foot,” Carter said in a prepared statement.

Thefts are also believed to have happened in the unincorporated portion of Pulaski County, though detailed information on those thefts wasn’t immediately available.

“The local law enforcement agencies are working together to solve these crimes,” Carter said. “We are asking the citizens for their assistance by calling (their) local law enforcement agencies if (they) might suspect or see anything unusual. If anyone has any information, contact us.”

Waynesville police can be reached at (573) 774-2414; after hours calls to that number are taken by the Pulaski County 911 dispatchers and forwarded to Waynesville officers. St. Robert police can be reached 24 hours per day at (573) 451-2000, ext. 1501.

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