Police investigating crime spree in New Pal area

NEW PALESTINE, Ind. -- Detectives are investigating a crime spree hitting the New Pal area. Thieves are doing whatever it takes to get their hands on your property.

In less than a week, police have taken in nearly 20 reports of break-ins.

“It’s definitely scary when it hits close to home like this,” said Laura Kell, a victim.

These thieves have gotten away with everything from cash to handguns out of vehicles.

“Keep the firearms out of the vehicle if you’re not with the vehicle that way somebody doesn’t get their hands on it that could do even more danger or harm to somebody,” said Captain Robert Campbell, with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say victims have reported stolen lawn equipment from their sheds as well.

“They’re just looking for whatever they can get,” said Scott Weiler, a victim.

The thieves hit locked and unlocked cars. Scott Weiler tells FOX59 his truck was parked in the driveway and keeping it locked didn’t keep the thief away.

“This guy was obviously a little more motivated and the truck was locked so he broke the windows out to get in,” said Weiler.

Weiler says the thief stole a bunch of bags out of his truck, including his wife’s computer. One of his neighbors allegedly chased away the thief which caused him to drop all the bags.

Hancock County investigators believe these crimes are happening between midnight and 5 a.m.  A neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, showed FOX59 surveillance video captured from their home in the early morning hours of Friday. You can see a person carrying a backpack and armed with a flashlight in each hand. The person walks up and down the driveway shining the light in each of the several parked cars. We’re told all the cars were locked.

“I would assume it’s someone who is just out for money or guns to buy drugs,” said Kell.

Police haven’t named the person in the video as a suspect connected to these break-ins but they’re warning residents to be vigilant.

Since the crime spree, police have stepped up patrols in and around the targeted neighborhoods.  If you know anything that could help investigators catch the thief or thieves, call the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.