UPDATE: String of Car Break-ins Reported in Putnam County

In the past two days, Sheriff Steve Deweese said there

(Courtesy Photo / Putnam County Sheriff's Department)

UPDATE 8/21/14 @ 5:43 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- In the past two days, Sheriff Steve Deweese said there's been a jump in car break-ins, especially in the Scott Depot and Teays Valley area.

Investigators said already, thousands of dollars worth of items, including two guns, have been stolen.

Deputies said it comes down to drugs.

Unfortunately for the people living in a half-dozen Putnam County neighborhoods, that means their cars have been prime targets and one neighbor is hoping his camera system will help catch the suspect.

But he said there's another person in the video, that could be helping the thief.

Caught on camera has a whole new meaning for Michael Lambert.

"Here the guy's entering my driveway, he checked the car first, it was locked, then he goes out to my truck, checks it, you can see the light come on as he starts to go through the center console," Lambert said.

While he may not have caught the thief in the act, Lambert's garage-mounted camera may be the next best thing.

Putnam County Sheriff's deputies are tracking five reports from the past two days.

Every report is a different vehicle, but it's the same story: thieves hitting unlocked cars.

The thief snatches cash, CDs, guns, anything worth a dime.

Neighbors and police believe it's all for quick drug cash.

"Just frustration of myself for being dumb and leaving it unlocked, but I mean this has always been a safe neighborhood, so it's something I wasn't really concerned with," said Lambert.

A closer look at the video shows someone else may be helping the thief. "Here he comes in crouched down, coming into the frame, sneaking up to the car," he said.

The sheriff tallies the thefts up to more than $5,000 worth.

He said so far, the thief focused on Lambert's neighborhood and others along Route 33 in Putnam County.

Beyond taking everything out of your car, Lambert said it's time to lock it up. "You work hard to have the things that you do have, and I made it easy on them by leaving it unlocked," he said.

The Putnam County Sheriff said there is concern about the two guns stolen from one car. He said you never know why a thief will take guns, but in this case, he believes it's simply to pawn them.

Investigators believe one man is the major player in these thefts, but they add, the investigation is ongoing.

They're also asking anyone with tips to call the Sheriff's office.

Investigators said you can prevent these thefts from happening no matter where you live, by locking your car and hiding anything of value in your trunk or under your seat.

If you recognize this man, you're urged to call the CPL R.K. Lyon with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department at 304-586-0256 or 304-586-0246.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for more on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/21/14 @ 11:53 a.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies are looking for a man who they say is behind a string of break-ins.

Sheriff's Deputies say the man is caught on video breaking into a vehicle Wednesday morning. Deputies say they believe the man has broke into several vehicles along the Rosehill Acres subdivision in Scott Depot.

If you recognize this man, you're urged to call the CPL R.K. Lyon with the Putnam County Sheriffs' Department at 304-586-0256 or 304-586-0246.


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