Elkins city police are working to solve a string of break-ins that have affected downtown businesses.
Lt. S.D. Richards with the Elkins Police Department said Friday the number of break-ins haven't necessarily increased, but businesses that haven't typically been targeted before - namely, Beander's and Scottie's - have appeared on the hit list within the last five to six weeks.
"They're hitting places they haven't hit before," Richards said. "They hit Scottie's several times - there were two actual break-ins and one attempted break-in."
The most recent break-in occurred on Feb. 25 when someone cut the pipes in the basement of Beander's on Davis Avenue. That case is still open, Richards said.
So, how can downtown businesses prevent break-ins? Richards recommends installing cameras and alarm systems.
"I'd recommend going that route, but that's a lot of money for some people to have to pay out," the officer said. "Unfortunately, if somebody wants to do something bad enough to you, they're going to do it... alarm systems and cameras just aid in prosecution. They don't necessarily prevent break-ins."
Anyone with information about break-ins of Scottie's or Beander's is asked to call the EPD at 304-636-0678 or the nonemergency number to the Randolph County E-911 Center, 304-637-3561, and ask to speak with an officer.
Richards said the EPD also continually receives reports of vehicles being broken into.
"It's ongoing; there's never an increase, but it never lets up," he said. "We would advise residents not to leave anything valuable in their vehicles, and make sure it's locked."
Breaking into a locked car makes a lot of racket, which tends to discourage criminals from making break-in attempts, Richards said.
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