Rash of vehicle break-ins

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, February 13, 2020

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One victim fired at suspects and suspects fired back

COLUMBUS—In the middle of the night, at least 3-4 Polk County residents reported break-ins in the Peniel Road and Red Fox Road areas of the county. 

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said they received multiple reports of motor vehicle break-ins. 

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Residents also posted on social media regarding the break-ins, with one resident saying they shot at the suspects and the suspects fired back at around 3 a.m. There were no reports of injuries. 

Polk County Public Information Officer JJ Sauve said Tuesday that various items were taken from the vehicles and according to one victim, the suspects were driving a smaller vehicle, wearing coats and a red toboggan. 

“There was a confrontation reported at one of the crime scenes, and it is believed that the suspects fired a gun,” Sauve said. “These suspects are considered armed and possibly dangerous.” 

The sheriff’s office is urging residents to remain vigilant and reminded to always lock vehicles and house doors and to never leave valuables in vehicles overnight. 

“Flood lights, especially those activated by movement and security cameras are an excellent deterrent and home safety measure,” Sauve said. 

The sheriff’s office will be increasing law enforcement presence in the residential areas following these reports. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Operations Division will be conducting extra patrols in both marked and unmarked units and the Sheriff’s Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team has been deployed to supplement patrol operations, according to Sauve. 

Polk County Sheriff Tim Wright said Tuesday that thieves affect everyone in a community because they violate our privacy and security. 

“These types of crimes generally occur in sprees and will not be tolerated in Polk County,” Wright said. “Our resources will be deployed for maximum visibility and our A.C.E. Team will be conducting aggressive patrols seeking out suspicious vehicles and individuals. I strongly encourage all citizens to call us anytime they see something suspicious so that it is documented and we can respond and apprehend these criminals before they victimize anyone else.” 

Anyone with information about the recent rash of break-ins is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 828-894-3001. Anyone who had a break-in is also encouraged to call to make an official report. 

Anyone observing suspicious activity can also call the non-emergency number after hours of 828-894-0187 or anytime there is an emergency or crime in progress, people should always call 911.