More than a dozen cars hit in string of Summit Cove break-ins |

More than a dozen cars hit in string of Summit Cove break-ins

Caddie Nath

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Authorities are asking anyone with information regarding the recent vehicle thefts and trespass reports to contact the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 453-2232.

Eleven reports of vehicle thefts and break-ins were reported in the Swan Meadow Village area in Summit Cove, and roughly half of those victims had multiple cars trespassed at the same residence.

“It’s just a large number where car owners found that somebody had been inside the vehicle and rummaged through stuff,” Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tracy LeClair said. “In some cases nothing was taken, papers were just strewn around, and in some cases there were iPods, cash and signed checks (stolen).”

Some victims reported as much as $200 in cash stolen. Another was missing a pair of binoculars from their vehicle.

But none of the cars were damaged in the break-ins because every single one had been left unlocked.

“From our end it’s frustrating because every one of these could have been prevented,” LeClair said. “It just makes them such easy targets, especially if they’re leaving valuables inside in plain view.”

As of Monday, authorities had no leads and no suspects in any of the cases. They suspect the thief or thieves were going from car to car checking doors in the middle of the night.

Vehicle trespasses and thefts are a common occurrence in Summit County, particularly when the weather gets warmer. Authorities say the thefts and break-ins tend to go in waves, with rashes of break-ins occurring all in the same area at once, as was the case in Summit Cove this weekend.

“It seems to take owners by surprise, which is kind of baffling to us,” LeClair said. “We try to keep the word out there and stress the importance of locking cars, but people seem to think it’s not necessary.”

Law enforcement officials also urge vehicle owners not to leave anything of value inside either, even in locations where it seems to be hidden and even when the car or truck is locked. If valuable belongings must be left inside a car, authorities say they should be locked in the trunk.

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