17 break-ins reported in Fort Mill neighborhood

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comOctober 7, 2013 

— Thieves rummaged through 14 cars and three garages in a Fort Mill neighborhood last week, stealing items valued at more than $3,000.

Several Fort Mill residents reported that between Wednesday and Thursday, their cars and unlocked garages had been broken into and several items – ranging from sunglasses and iPods to stainless steel knives – were stolen during the night, according to York County Sheriff’s reports. In total, police responded to 14 car break-ins and three thefts from garages.

The break-ins were all reported in the Bailiwyck subdivision off Pleasant Road, and occurred on South Downs Way, Portpatrick Place, Saint Michael’s Way, Cranborne Chase and Amberly Crossing roads.

Eight residents reported that their cars were unlocked, while two people told deputies that their cars were locked, documents show. Others were unsure.

Another man told deputies that he did not want details of his car being broken into and his property stolen printed on a police report, but just wanted to make law enforcement aware.

Last Thursday, a 50-year-old woman who lives on South Downs Way told police she found a broken cell phone in the bushes near her mailbox, according to one of several reports deputies took. A deputy found the Samsung Verizon cell phone broken into four pieces as if it had fallen off a car.

The woman told deputies that the phone did not belong to anyone in her family, the report states. She told deputies Thursday was the first time she saw the phone near her house and thought it might be connected to the car break-ins in the subdivision.

No other pieces of evidence or break-in tools were recovered in the thefts, and authorities have received no additional tips aside from the cell phone, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris.

Deputies do not have a description of any suspects, but are working to see if this latest rash of break-ins might be related to a string of similar break-ins reported earlier this year.

Faris said investigators believe the break-ins might also be connected to a similar rash of thefts that have occurred in the south Charlotte area over the last few weeks.

“We’re working trying to figure them out,” he said. “(Investigators are) really working hard on it...trying to connect the dots and see who may be involved.”

Aside from the latest rash in Fort Mill, deputies have investigated 414 total car break-ins this year in York County, Faris said. Of those, 271 cars were unlocked.

The take-home message: “Lock your car doors,” Faris said. “Just push the button on the door.”

Significant break-ins

Significant break-ins this year include:

• 23 cars broken into at the Channing Park subdivision in Rock Hill;

• 10 cars broken into at the Vander Lakes and Pines at Campbell Crossing neighborhoods in the Clover/York area

• Eight cars broken into at the Denali Way subdivision in Rock Hill;

• 36 cars broken into at Rock Hill’s Meadow Lakes neighborhood.

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