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Thieves breaking into unlocked cars across downriver communities

Video shows men stealing items from unlocked vehicles

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – There's an unwanted trend happening in several downriver communities as police believe a group of men is going city to city and stealing items from cars.

So far, vehicles in Allen Park, Ecorse and River Rouge have been hit.

"The street term is called car hopping," said Leonel Lopez, River Rouge Police Department inspector. "Several people are going around and just opening cars and stealing property out of the vehicles."

Lopez said in most cases the targeted cars are unlocked.

"The people are going in vehicles, and it's because they're not locking their vehicles," Lopez said.

Home surveillance video from Le Blanc Street in River Rouge shows a robbery from Tuesday morning. A man walked around the side of a truck to open the door. The truck was unlocked, and another man opened the other car door while his partner rummaged through the truck.

Video shows them grabbing belongings from the truck and walking away. It was just one of many cases in River Rouge, police said.

"We had seven reported incidents, however, we're hearing on the street that several people didn't call the police," Lopez said. "We are currently working with other departments to see if there's a connection with the suspects."

Lopez wants the public to be aware of the dangers of leaving vehicles unlocked.

"Chances are they probably won't go in your vehicle if they find out that it's locked," Lopez said.

Surveillance video from Allen Park supports her statement, as two men were seen walking away from a truck after finding it locked.

Police said they are working hard to get the thieves off the street.


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