We've all heard this advice before, perhaps dozens of times: lock your car and don't leave anything valuable inside. Not everyone heeds, though, thinking their neighborhood is safe.
Unfortunately, times are changing. Apparently there are few, if any, neighborhoods in Randolph County consistently safe from vehicle break-ins. State police say that within this year, thefts from cars have been a "tremendous" problem from Mill Creek on through Elkins and everywhere in between.
Police have some theories as to why these crimes have become so common and widespread. It's likely, they say, that there is more than one group involved, considering that the incidents have occurred in so many different locations. They also speculate that vehicles are quick and easy targets - especially if they're unlocked.
However, in some of the more recent incidents, the thieves weren't choosy on whether the cars were locked or unlocked. If they saw something they wanted, they simply busted out a window to get inside.
To avoid becoming a victim, residents will be better off to follow the common sense approach in taking the age-old advice: lock your car and don't leave anything valuable inside. It may be tedious to bring your belongings inside at night, but at least they will be there when you need them in the morning.