Police question if same group behind ‘spike’ of thefts from vehicles

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Since the start of the year, police in Lancaster County have taken more than 100 reports of thefts from cars.

The district attorney’s office says there has been a “significant spike” in the past two weeks.

Melissa Weaver, who lives on a street where one theft happened, said she doesn’t think twice when locking her car.

“I put my car in park, doors unlock, and I automatically lock them all,” she said.

District Attorney Craig Stedman says people need to lock their vehicles. He said that’s part of the reason for the spike in the crimes.

Stedman said investigators are looking at the possibility the crimes are coming from a group of people who are working together. He said a few people have been arrested, but he wondered if they’re taking the charges seriously.

Stedman pointed to one recent case where a teenager was caught stealing from cars and arrested the next day for doing it again.

“It’s complete disrespect for the system and also he didn’t think it was being taken seriously enough by us,” Stedman said. “That’s one of the things we’ll be looking at, is make sure he gets the message this won’t be tolerated.”

Stedman had a strong message for any potential criminals.

“Would you want your mother’s car to be broken into,” he asked. “If you don’t want it happening to your family, then why would you do it to someone else?”

Stedman said it’s important for victims to report the thefts to police.

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