Granite Quarry Police and community members discuss recent car break-ins

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 3, 2023

By Charlie Drape

GRANITE QUARRY —The Granite Quarry Police Department and more than 40 members of the community met Wednesday evening at the Granite Quarry Fire Station to discuss a recent series of car break-ins around the town.

So far, eight break-ins have been reported over several days. Credit cards, cash and other personal items have been reported taken, police officials said. Multiple other attempted break-ins have been reported.

The Granite Commons neighborhood is one of the main areas thieves have targeted. Other thefts have been reported on Walnut Street and near Granite Quarry Elementary School.

Police officials have yet to identify the two suspects they have, but they reportedly dress in dark clothing and wear ski masks while walking through the neighborhoods to check and see if vehicles are unlocked. If locked, the suspects don’t stick around, but move to the next vehicle.

The thefts have been from midnight to 5 a.m.

Patrol Officer Matthew Osborne and Detective Todd Taylor, who led the meeting, urged residents to make sure their car doors are locked and to bring any valuable items inside in the evening.

They also asked for help.

“We’re a small agency and we’re really trying to make this town better as best we can, but we need y’alls help,” Osborne said. “We try to cover as much as we can between calls and we try to be as proactive as we can, but we need you to be out in your neighborhoods looking and watching. … We need y’all.”

Osborne suggested setting up a neighborhood watch.

To start one, residents would have to set up a meeting with the police department. A neighborhood watch coordinator would be the lead person in charge. They would have to set meetings, keep member rosters and work with the police department. A neighborhood block captain would be in charge of watching for suspicious activity. Osborne recommended a block captain for every 10 to 15 homes.

“The block captains would need to be available for us (the police department) to call, in case something is happening,” Osborne said.

He also suggested that the resident on patrol carry a flashlight and wear a traffic vest so neighbors would be able to recognize them.

Taylor talked about how police are now signed up for the app Neighbors by Ring, a platform that allows people who own Ring home security cameras to share videos they’ve captured to surrounding neighbors and the police, which the Post reported on Jan. 29. Anyone can use the app, even those who don’t own a Ring camera.

“This keeps us informed and it gives us a good idea of what you folks are seeing in your neighborhoods,” Taylor said.

It was by using this app that police were able to get an image taken from a resident’s Ring camera of the two suspects breaking into a car.

If residents see any suspicious people or activities in their neighborhood, they’re urged to call 911 or the Granite Quarry non-emergency dispatch number at 704-216-8500.