Lock vehicle doors

Published 1:57 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

By Diana McFarland


Lock your vehicle doors. 

That is the overriding message from the Smithfield Police Department concerning an ongoing string of vehicle invasions.  

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The latest streets hit, Chalmers Row, Sykes Court and Grace Street, were over the weekend. In those three cases, items were removed from unlocked cars, said Smithfield Police Chief Alonzo Howell. 

The most recent incidents are the continuation of similar crimes in other areas of town, to include the downtown area, Moonefield, Grimesland and Cypress Creek.

“People need to remove their valuables and lock their cars,” said Howell, adding that police think this is the work of juveniles. 

Howell also asks residents to report any tampering they find of their vehicles, and if they have surveillance video, to share it with the police. 

“We want this to stop just as bad as the community does,” said Howell. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The issue was discussed Monday at the Town Council police committee meeting. 

Howell said he plans to request some more crime-fighting equipment in the upcoming town budget. 

The committee discussed the use of cameras. 

Town Council member Denise Tynes suggested putting cameras at the entrance to neighborhoods to pick up footage where there is a good deal of this type of criminal activity. 

Interim Town Manager Sanford “Sandy” Wanner said cameras are expensive. 

Town Council member Randy Pack said cameras would be “a major privacy issue.” 

Town Council member Valerie Butler said that “it sounds like, what is occurring, is people are leaving their vehicles unlocked.”

Mayor Carter Williams asked about a curfew for juveniles, but Howell said the town already has that in place. 

Staff writer Frederic Lee contributed to this report.