Law enforcement investigating numerous vehicle break-ins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Two area law enforcement agencies believe residents may have been targeted by the same thieves after vehicle break-ins were reported in Rowan and Cabarrus counties over the weekend.
The thieves took wallets and purses left in the vehicles parked in local parks. Officials said in some incidents, the suspects, believed to be two women, used the victims’ credit cards at local drugstores.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a number of thefts that occurred Sunday at Dan Nicholas Park on Bringle Ferry Road. Rodney Mahaley reported his wife’s purse was taken from their vehicle. Mahaley said $160 and prescription medication, along with other items, were inside the purse. He noticed an older vehicle in the parking lot whose occupants seemed to be acting suspiciously, Mahaley told deputies.
Shannon Scarborough reported to deputies her vehicle was parked beside Mahaley’s, and thieves took her purse. She said it contained $100 in cash, prescription medication and her paramedic certification card.
Jack Heath went to his vehicle for an umbrella and saw his window busted. Heath said his wife’s purse was taken from the car. She had various credit cards and identification, as well as $60 in cash inside the purse.
Rowan Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford said thieves got into the vehicles by breaking the passenger’s side windows. It is unclear if the stolen pocketbooks were in plain view, he said, but he encourages motorists to not leave such items visible inside their parked cars.
Three vehicles belonging to Alby Stamey, Kimberly File and Theresa Pittman were broken into while the vehicles were parked at the Kannapolis Recreation Park on Fowler Street.
Sifford said Kannapolis Recreation Park officials received information that there were a number of vehicles in the parking lot that had been broken into and made an announcement over the loudspeaker. All three victims went to their vehicles after hearing the announcement.
Stamey told investigators his wallet containing his identification and credit cards were taken. The thieves also took two GPS devices he had in the car. File said her purse was taken along with its contents including her debit and credit cards and prescription medications.
Rowan deputies said Concord Police contacted File and Pittman to inform them their credit cards were used at a CVS in Concord and a Walgreens in Kannapolis.
The suspects racked up nearly $1,000 in charges on the credit cards.
On Sunday, Cindy Rhode, Jennifer Kluttz and Patricia Cannon reported to the Concord Police thieves took items from their vehicles.
“It appears the suspects could be the same. We had three car break-ins,” said Maj. Walter Stofford of the Concord Police Department.
Stofford said all the break-ins occurred at J.W. McGee Jr. Park on Corban Avenue. In all of the incidents, victims said their purses were inside their vehicles in plain sight. Thieves took the purses and all of the contents including wallets, a cell phone, credit cards and cash.
He said investigators are following up on the credit cards that were used at local drugstores.
“We want to make sure you hide your valuables and put them in the trunk or keep them where they are not seen by the public,” Stofford said.
Concord Police say the thieves were described as two black women, both thin and in their 20s. They were seen inside a green two-door compact car. One woman had curly hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was wearing black pants and a gray shirt. The other woman had red hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was wearing blue shorts and a black shirt.
Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to contact Rowan County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245 or Concord Police at 704-920-5000.