Police Step Up Patrols Following Tire Thefts in Charles

Residents Asked to Report Suspicious Activity Immediately

LA PLATA, Md. (March 25, 2010)—The Charles County Sheriff's Office is stepping up patrols and asking residents to be on alert for a group of suspects who are stealing tires from parked motor vehicles.

The most recent theft was reported on March 24 at 6 a.m. Officers responded to the 8600 block of Paps Parkway in La Plata for the report of a theft. Investigation revealed unknown suspects removed four tires from the victim's SUV and left the vehicle on bricks obtained from the victim's yard.

There have been similar thefts throughout the county and region over the past several months.

Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said the entire sheriff's office is on alert regarding these types of thefts and are conducting intensive patrols during the overnight hours to apprehend the suspects. The Agency has studied the trends, deployed officers in specified areas and shared information with other police departments across the region that are experiencing the same problem.

"Unfortunately, the suspects operate under the cover of darkness, they have the thefts down to a science and they're not targeting any one specific area," said Sheriff Coffey.

While the sheriff's office continues to pursue leads, residents are asked to focus on prevention:

-- If possible, keep the areas surrounding your vehicle well lit.
-- Consider an alarm or locking lug nuts.
-- Report suspicious activity immediately.
-- Be on the lookout for vehicles driving slowly through your neighborhood. In some cases the suspects have used stolen mini vans to transport the wheels.
-- Mark rims and other valuables with a personal code or ID to help officers positivley identify recovered stolen property.

The Sheriff's Office and Crime Solvers are offering a cash reward. Anyone with information is asked to call (301) 932-2222. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. For more information about crime prevention, visit the Charles County Sheriff's Office Web site at www.ccso.us.

Source: Charles County Sheriff's Office

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