The Tyler County Sheriff's Department is investigating auto-tampering and burglary following the July 11 breaking into of five vehicles parked on East Street in Middlebourne. According to Deputy Josh Maston, change, credit cards and MP3 players were amongst items stolen from the vehicles.
"None of the vehicles were actually 'broken' into," he said. "Everybody I talked to said their vehicles were unlocked."
The initial call alerting the Sheriff's Department of these crimes came in between 12:30 a.m. and a quarter to 1 a.m. The caller reported seeing a person in their vehicle. The rest of the calls came in later that morning.
While Deputy Maston stated that such crimes fall under auto tampering, Lieutenant Dean Pratt described each case in which something was taken from a vehicle as petit larceny.
"Take any valuables in at night and lock your car doors," advised Deputy Maston. "As a department, that's what we'd like to stress to the community."