Police investigate car burglaries

At least five vehicles were burglarized the weekend of June 16, with one unusual item an apparent draw to the culprit or culprits.

"One of the things that was specifically taken was the handicapped (parking) hangers," said Vermillion Police Chief Matt Betzen. "If anyone sees someone that has a handicapped hanger that really doesn't look like they should have one, they should feel free to give us a call."

Betzen said this is the first time he has ever seen the theft of these cards.

The vehicles in question were located on a variety of streets, including Cottage Avenue, and Duke and Spruce streets.

In addition to the cards, $60 was taken from at least one of the other vehicles.

"It's minor amounts of money, but people still feel victimized when their vehicle is broken into, or opened without their permission," Betzen said.

The police chief added that he suspects the incidents occurred the night of June 16 or early the next morning, although some of the thefts were not reported until the following Monday.

"(Cases like this) tend to come in groups," he said. "Basically, it tends to be people who are on foot walking through an area and they're looking in cars and they're basically taking advantage of the fact that a lot of people don't lock their doors."

This is not the first time Vermillion autos have been subject to illegal entries this year.

"We had a rash of them earlier this summer, and we actually solved that," Betzen said. "We identified some juvenile suspects. But this, I think, is a new group or individual."

The incidents currently are under investigation.

"We don't have any suspects right now, but we do have some leads and we're seeing whether or not we can turn those into suspects," Betzen said.

He advises all Vermillion residents to lock the doors of their vehicles.

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