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UPDATE: 37 vehicles broken into in Peachtree City and 10 vehicles broken into in Fayette County County

By Leah Banks – In the early morning of Feb. 3, a small group of suspects entered an unprecedented amount of 37 unlocked vehicles. The vehicles targeted were parked in residential areas in the southern parts of Peachtree City. On Feb. 4, Fayette county reported 10 vehicle break-ins in a residential area. 

Both Peachtree City and Fayette county also had a vehicle stolen. Both vehicles that were stolen were left unlocked with the key fobs inside the vehicles. 

The affected areas in Peachtree City included Wilshire Estates and The Gates. In Fayette county, the affected area was Brechin Park subdivision. 

According to the statement that was released by Peachtree City Police department, “The group only targeted vehicles that were unlocked. They were able to steal unsecured items such as tablets, handguns, cash, wallets, purses, ammunition, medication, and other miscellaneous property.”

According to the statement that was released from Fayette County Sheriff’s office, “There are likely additional incidents where homeowners noticed their unlocked vehicles rummaged through but did not make incident reports as nothing appeared stolen.”

Peachtree City Police officers began quickly investigating after learning of the activity and alerted many of the victims that their car had been entered. The stolen vehicle was identified and located before the owner awoke, and officers advised them of the incident. 

When speaking to Patrol Lieutenant Christopher Hyatt, of Peachtree City Police Department on the string of entering auto reports, he stated that it was mainly due to people leaving their vehicles unlocked and the suspects would search to see which vehicles they could enter. 

“The key thing with these is that every single one of them was an unsecured vehicle. There was zero forced entry into any of the vehicles. Basically, what these crews do is they come in and they check door handles and climb into the ones that are left unlocked,” Lt. Hyatt said. 

Both of the stolen vehicles were recovered in Dekalb county and have been processed as evidence. Some of the stolen items were also recovered. 

The statement released by Peachtree City Police department states that home surveillance camera footage shows that at least one of the suspects is armed, but it is unclear if the suspect was armed at the time of arrival or if the firearm was retrieved from an unlocked vehicle. 

While there have been no arrests made in these incidences, Lt. Hyatt and the Peachtree City Police department advise residents and citizens of Peachtree City to follow the following steps:

– Lock your cars. 

– Do not leave valuables in your cars. 

– Lock your cars. 

– Have home surveillance with routinely changed batteries and proper configuration to alert you of nighttime motion. 

– Lock your cars. 

– If you see something, say something (to 911, not the bad guys). 

– Lock your cars.

“Our big push for the community is just please remove your valuables, bring them inside during the night and be sure to lock and secure your doors. The indicator would be if you walk to your vehicle one morning and it seems to be that the contents have been scattered, typically glove box contents have been pulled open, center console left open, or the door is possibly ajar. This would mean that more than likely, someone has entered your vehicle through the night if you left it unsecured,” Lt. Hyatt said. 

Fayette County Sheriff’s office is working with the Peachtree City Police Department to pursue the suspects. 

By Leah Banks

Leah Banks is a reporter for Fayette News. She graduated from Loyola University - New Orleans with a degree in Journalism in May 2019. As a reporter, she covers mainly Peachtree City and Tyrone areas. Leah has an interest in community outreach as well as local initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery novels and listening to jazz music. Leah can be reached at leah@fayette-news.net.