‘These can all be prevented’: Quincy Police reporting another rash of car thefts, car burglaries

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QUINCY — Another rash of car thefts and car burglaries has led to another plea from Mike Tyler, deputy chief for the Quincy Police Department.

“We’ve got to get the message out to the community to lock their vehicles, lock their homes and don’t leave keys in the vehicle where it can get stolen,” he said in a Friday interview.

Tyler says nine vehicles have been stolen and 18 vehicle burglaries have been reported in Quincy since April 16. In every case, people left the vehicles unlocked. They left keys in the vehicles in each of the nine thefts.

Tyler says the thefts have been all over town.

“There’s no real specific area or neighborhood,” he said.

The Quincy Police Department recently received a video from a Quincy resident showing four people wearing masks and hoods as they walked past a residence and approached cars parked in the driveway.

“They were checking door handles,” Tyler said. 

“These criminals are not breaking windows. They’re not prying car doors open. They’re not hot-wiring cars. If it’s unlocked, they’re going in there stealing what they can. If they see a set of car keys in there, they’re going to see if they can steal a vehicle.”

He says he’s also seen groups of people walking along a street simply checking door handles.

Tyler says the culprits in these types of thefts are typically people in their early to late teens or early 20s. Once someone commits a crime, it isn’t easy to find them.

“You never know where they’re going to go,” he said. “They’re all dressed up. They wear gloves or masks or hoodies. It’s difficult to find them. You’ve got to kind of set up some controls to catch them in the act or have someone else tell on them. It’s hard to gather evidence, because they’re all covered up when we get camera shots.

“It is hard to investigate, and it gets frustrating when you have so many that come in at one time. You just want it to stop, obviously, but also you don’t have much to go on. It’s tough to work these cases, and quite a few of them will go unsolved.”

In late February, Tyler issued a press release to local media outlets, explaining that people stole five vehicles from various locations in a week’s span. People reported 30 vehicles stolen from Jan. 1 through Feb. 27. By comparison, Tyler said people stole 43 cars in Quincy in 2022.

He said two of the nine cars stolen since April 16 have been recovered.

“These (thefts) all can be prevented if people lock their vehicles,” Tyler said. “I mean, we can’t go around and lock everybody’s cars for them or make sure that they’re locked. We just need to get the message out. This is simply a crime of opportunity.”

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