that has plagued the area is turning into an epidemic of “smash and grab” break-ins.
reported 15 to 20 window break-ins since Friday that is causing extensive damage to cars but not garnering very much loot. Bridgeville police Chief Chad King said the thief appears to be using a “window punch” that doesn’t make a lot of noise when it shatters the window.
King said the usual GPS units or cell phones have been taken, but in several cases, the thief only took a couple bucks from the coin slot. Investigators do not think it’s the same person last month.
“We had a few where the windows were broken and nothing was taken,” King said. “This is a totally different M.O.”
The thief hit two cars on McLaughlin Run Road early Friday morning, numerous vehicles early Saturday morning on Mill Street, Cook School Road, Vesper Street and Maple Street, and at least four more cars on Laurel Street late Monday night.
“It doesn’t take long to make a hit like that,” King said. “You could break 12 windows and be in and out of them in under 10 minutes. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do it. The guy is smashing the window out and literally opening the center console, grabbing what he needs and leaving.”
The person cut himself during one of the smash and grab, prompting police to send a blood sample to the crime lab in hopes of matching it with a DNA profile in the system. Until then, King plans to increase early morning patrols around the borough.
He asked the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to authorities.
“The problem is we can’t be everywhere at one time,” King said. “It’s not easy because these people are on foot and moving fast and it’s easy for them to disappear between houses.”