Police say simple step could help stop recent increase in vehicle break-ins

The Asheville Police Department says in just the past month, they’ve seen a huge rise in the number of vehicle break-ins.

From January 2020-August 2020, Asheville police say they averaged around 24 vehicle thefts a week. For the last three weeks, that number has nearly doubled to an average of 42 a week. Of those, only 8% of the vehicles were actually locked at the time of the break-in.

Officers say the break-ins are happening all over town but are especially bad in a few areas, including part of Haywood Road and around the Asheville Outlets.

Officers say a lot of business lots and street parking lots are also acting as prime targets for criminals.

Lieutenant Evan Coward says a late summer spike in these types of crimes is not unusual, but the drastic increase is. Lt. Coward points out one of the big issues is that about 90% of the victims are simply not locking their doors, making it a fast and easy crime for criminals to get away with. “I think it's just a great opportunity for us to remind folks to work with us by taking just a couple of seconds and hiding the valuables and locking your doors, and, hopefully, they won't have to deal with these types of crimes,” says Lt. Coward.

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