Rash of Car Burglaries in Galena Area; Teens Arrested

RENO, NV -- Criminals creeping into your driveway in the middle of the night, stealing your stuff, while your family is asleep just feet away. Deputies say in the past two weeks, more than 20 cars have been broken into in the Galena area and these burglaries don't seem to be slowing down.

"We have nice neighbors and it's very pleasant place to live," said a resident of Saddlehorn Dr., one of the neighborhoods affected.

However, a few neighborhoods in Galena, where the the crime rate is typically low, are getting hit with a rash of car burglaries.

"[Criminals] go up and down the streets looking for locked doors, looking for unlocked cars, and once they find and unlocked car, they go into the car and get what they can get," Detective Dave Frankel of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said.

It's called car raiding and police say juveniles are going through neighborhoods late at night, taking any opportunity to add a keepsake to their collection.

"Generally this kind of first part of August before school started, we believe so it might be their last hurrah having some fun in their minds but it's pretty common in the summertime in the hotter evenings," Detective Frankel said.

It's not just valuables they're taking. Teens are grabbing anything insight. Police have recovered stolen property just in the suspects' rooms.

Activities that many residents aren't even aware are happening right on their driveways, forcing them to rethink their habits.

"Well, most of time, I don't even lock it when I'm at home," one resident said.

"One of the problems is that people sometimes feel they are safe in their neighborhoods, fail to take those basic steps," another resident said. "It becomes a 'Hey come rip my car off' type thing."

To keep your neighborhoods safe, police suggest neighbors to stay vigilant and call the police if they see teens out past midnight.

"We can see what they're dong that late, notify their parents to see if the parents know that they're out that late. That can stop a lot of this [crime]."

Police say the best way to protect your car from getting burglarized is by using common sense. For instance, make sure your windows are completely rolled up, hide your valuables and, of course, lock your car.

Deputies tell KOLO 8 News Now they have arrested three suspects, but believe there are others involved in these burglaries. They want to remind you to file a report if anything turns up missing out of your car, no matter the value because it will help them narrow their search.

If you see anything suspicious, or know who is behind these break-ins, call the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, or remain anonymous by calling Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.

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