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COLUMBIA CITY â€” While vehicle break-ins in Fort Wayne are on the rise, Columbia Cityâ€™s vehicle break-ins are on the decline, but still a continual problem.
â€śThis seems to be a common problem for us,â€ť said Longenbaugh.
â€śWith this we often see where we get a group of juveniles who wander around town and get into unlocked vehicles.â€ť
In 2010, 18 break-ins occurred from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31.
In 2011, the number increased to 37 from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, but this yearâ€™s report has seen a decline to 27 break-ins.
According to Longenbaugh, incidents of reported vehicle break-ins are often scattered throughout the city, with no particular site being targeted any more than any other.
One of the most recent vehicle break-ins occurred in Eagle Glen, where Longenbaugh said an arrest was made.
While most of the break-ins involve unlocked vehicles, Longenbaugh said the police department has seen some forced entries as the thief breaks in one of the windows.
â€śThe vast majority of thefts come from unlocked vehicles where valuables are left in plain sight,â€ť said Longenbaugh.
Items most often reported missing from break-ins include wallets, purses and GPS units.
â€śA lot of time itâ€™s also change, CDs, DVDs or whatever they can get their hands on,â€ť said Longenbaugh.
Longenbaugh cautions citizens to take steps to reduce their chances of becoming a victim to a vehicle break-in.
These steps include: keeping valuable items out of plain sight, taking valuable items out of the car or keeping them in the trunk, locking vehicles and parking in a well-lit area.
â€śMost break-ins occur late at night or in the early morning hours,â€ť said Longenbaugh. â€śWe advise people to pay attention to suspicious activity and to report it to the police department.â€ť