Eastlake man startles crook in attempted overnight car theft (video)

Eastlake Chief says vehicle break-ins are increasing

Video: Eastlake man startles crook in attempted overnight car theft

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Area police have seen an increase in activity when it comes to vehicle break-ins, including here in Eastlake.

On Friday afternoon, the department released video of an attempted burglary at one local residence on a Ring Doorbell camera, which left that crook leaving with nothing.

This happened Friday morning just before four a.m. on E. 331st Street. 19 News tried to speak with the man in the video, but he declined our request. His wife did speak, and she said that some of their neighbors weren’t so lucky. The crooks stole several items from multiple, unlocked vehicles, including money and a weapon.

Eastlake Police Chief Larry Reik says the rise of vehicle break-ins in his town and surrounding areas are going up. And because most school districts are in remote learning and unsupervised time at home, it’s leading to more mischief for juveniles. “A lot of times, when we have found people, they are teenagers or young adults,” says Chief Reik.

And these incidents are becoming more and more intricate. Chief Reik says that people are letting their guard down and giving criminals a golden opportunity. Chief Reik says, “The element of surprise and the amount of people...it’s definitely on the side of the criminal.”

And the advent of door cameras and car security has helped authorities with quicker response times to incidents and faster recovery of stolen items. “Cameras of that type of platform give people a good option to monitor their own property and help us get to the location before things take place,” says Chief Reik.

Chief Reik says that it’s imperative for residents to report any suspicious behavior, whether it’s severe or not. And to use common sense and simply lock your doors when you’re not using your car.

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