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Brazen thieves target parents at parks in Brownsburg

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BROWNSBURG – Thieves are hitting parents and their cars parked at Brownsburg city parks! Police there report at least five burglaries in the past few days, and they suspect those thefts may be connected to a larger crime ring.

“We just consider this a theft ring. This particular one has a little deeper roots in it,” said Captain Jennifer Barrett, with Brownsburg Police.

Barrett said any type of identification left in cars is tempting to thieves. The criminals move in fast and are on a very specific mission. Barrett said they’re looking for identification they can take to local banks and use to cash forged checks. Typically, the thieves go through the drive-thru lane and even try to disguise their appearance.

“It’s not uncommon for them to change in ways such as wearing wigs, glasses, sunglasses,” she said.

It’s a scheme Brownsburg Police first started working last year.

In the last week, they’ve had cars burglarized at Arbuckle Acres Park and also Williams Park. FOX 59 talked to the burglary victim at Williams Park. She estimated she was 20 feet from her car and only gone for about 15 minutes, still the crooks managed to get away with her identification and credit cards.

The town’s little league and softball league all sent out an alert email to parents, though Tuesday afternoon we still saw a number of windows rolled down as parents watched their kids play.

“We have a lot of different activities going on throughout the day and for innocent families, they just want to come out and enjoy their families and enjoy the kids playing baseball. And they’re having the cars broken into, that’s uncalled for,” said Blake Polen, with Brownsville Little League.

Other parents said they are more prepared yet still surprised at where they’re being targeted.

“I take a second look before I walk away. I always lock my doors and leave my windows up,” said Jennifer Huckaba, a parent, “It’s really brazen and bold.”

Police believe it might be the same group from last year ramping up again as it gets warmer. They suspect there might be connections to similar crimes in Mooresville. Their advice is to never leave anything of value inside your car, even if it’s locked.

“When you are going to be in an area where you aren’t going to be able to witness your vehicle, it’s best just to take those articles with you,” said Barrett.