WSAZ - Local News and Breaking News Coverage for West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky

UPDATE: Neighbors Stepping Up Security; Portsmouth Police Looking for Help in Dozens of Car Break-ins


UPDATE 11/4/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A man is taking steps to upgrade his security cameras and motion detector lights after his car was among more than five dozen burglarized in the last two weeks in the Hilltop neighborhoods in Portsmouth.

“I've got motion lights and I've got cameras up and things and I always felt like that during a lot of these car thefts and things, that I was extremely safe up here at the end,” Bob Gambill, who is a former police officer, said.

That didn’t stop a thief from smashing out the windows of his truck in the early morning hours of Oct. 30. Gambill said he was upset by the situation.

“Not just the idea of the damage to the vehicle, but the fact that, you know, your space was violated,” he said.

Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware tells WSAZ.com that all the break-ins have happened during the night or early morning hours and the thieves got inside the cars by breaking windows.

Gambill’s surveillance camera caught the thief who was breaking into his truck. The footage shows a man breaking three windows in the truck and searching around inside, shining a flashlight and even hoisting his body through the driver’s window up to his waist.

Police say the break-ins happened three different times:

-- Between 2 and 6 a.m. on Oct. 24, more than 30 cars were damaged or broken into in the Circle Drive and Indian Hills areas.

-- Between 10 p.m. on Oct. 27 and 8 a.m. Oct. 28, about one dozen cars were damaged or broken into from Kinney’s Lane and Timlin Road to Sunrise Avenue and Ritchie Street.
-- Between 9 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 7 a.m. on Oct. 30, more than a dozen cars were damaged or broken into in the Sherman, Orchard, Michigan, Dorman and Buena Vista areas.

Chief Ware said that the thieves mostly took things that could be concealed easily, such as change and cash.

“Things that they can walk down the street with and be stopped by police and maybe not be readily apparent that it came from someone’s vehicle,” Ware said.

Because of the time frame and number of cars, police believe there could be multiple thieves. Police say they need to talk to you if:

-- you have been a victim of a break-in
-- you heard or saw anything suspicious, such as barking dogs, strange noises or someone in the neighborhood
-- you live in or near these neighborhoods and have video cameras you can review for any suspicious activity

To keep yourself and your car safe, police say you should take anything valuable out of your car. They also suggest turning on porch and yard lights and leaving them on during the night.

Gambill has chosen to upgrade his security cameras and add more motion detector lights in the hopes of deterring future thieves. He noted that the thief who smashed out his windows was not stopped by lights.

“He was very deliberate,” Gambill said. “When he left one of the times, he actually did have one of my motion lights kick off and there's a huge streetlight up here, so it was well lit.”

Police urge people to call them with anything suspicious and not to engage anyone directly.

“Go back and look at [your surveillance] video, especially on the nights in question,” Ware said. “If there’s anything that stands out as suspicious, or they pick up people walking during those hours on those video systems, bring that down to us and let us take a look at it.”

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 11/3/13 @ 6:10 p.m.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) – Police in Portsmouth are looking for help in catching the person or people behind a series of car break-ins over the last couple of weeks in the Hilltop neighborhood.

Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware tells WSAZ.com the break-ins have happened during the night or early morning hours and the thieves got inside the cars by breaking windows.

Police say the break-ins happened three different times:

-- Between 2 and 6 a.m. on October 24, more than 30 cars were damaged or broken into in the Circle Drive and Indian Hills areas.
-- Between 10 p.m. on October 27 and 8 a.m. October 28, about one dozen cars were damaged or broken into from Kinney’s Lane and Timlin Road to Sunrise Avenue and Ritchie Street.
-- Between 9 p.m. on October 29 and 7 a.m. on October 30, more than a dozen cars were damaged or broken into in the Sherman, Orchard, Michigan, Dorman and Buena Vista areas.

Police say because of the time frame and number of cars, they believe there could be multiple thieves. Police say they need to talk to you if:

-- you have been a victim of a break-in
-- you heard or saw anything suspicious, such as barking dogs, strange noises or someone in the neighborhood
-- you live in or near these neighborhoods and have video cameras you can review for any suspicious activity

To keep yourself and your car safe, police say you should take anything valuable out of your car. They also suggest turning on porch and yard lights and leaving them on during the night.

Police urge people to call them with anything suspicious and not to engage anyone directly.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 230428301