Unlocked Cars Tempt Thieves Near Lake Wateree

The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a larceny spree that took place in the early morning hours of Sept. 19 on Wateree Estates Road, between the 1400 block and the 2000 block, and which netted thieves more than $900 in cash and other items from unlocked vehicles.

Deputies first responded to a home in the 2000 block of Wateree Estates Road just before 6 a.m. Sept. 19 where the interior contents of two trucks had been rifled by thieves during the night. Suspects made off with $100 in cash and a silver necklace worth $100.

An hour and a half later, deputies arrived at a home in the 1600 block where a car and a pickup truck, both unlocked, had been pilfered. A handgun and other items worth $385 were taken from the vehicles. Deputies recovered what appeared to be a sawed-off broom handle left behind by suspects inside one of the autos.

At 8:47 that morning, deputies were dispatched to a home in the 1400 block of Wateree Estates Road. Again, an unlocked car and an unlocked pickup truck had been entered by unknown suspects, who this time only made off with a handful of loose change, totaling approximately $30.

Back in the 2000 block of Wateree Estates Road at 9:06 a.m., a resident reported two vehicles parked outside his home had been entered. Both were unlocked and suspects stole jewelry worth $150 and $100 in cash. A little more than 10 minutes later, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a homeowner in the 1900 block. During the night, he said, someone had entered his unlocked Chevrolet Suburban and stolen tools worth $20. A few houses down, also in the 1900 block, a resident reported a similar story. When deputies arrived at her home at 10:37 a.m., she said someone had entered her unlocked car during the night and stolen $30 in cash. A seventh incident is also under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, although details were not available at press time.

In each of the incidents, no forced entry was necessary, the Sheriff’s Office said, and the vehicles were virtually ransacked each time, with papers and personal items strewn in and around the vehicles. The Sheriff’s Office is encouraging residents to keep their vehicles locked at all times. Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Office said, the best policy is to never leave valuables inside vehicles, locked or otherwise. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office added, investigators are following up on several leads connected to the larcenies.