Thieves break into more than a dozen cars in Carmel, spark police chase

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CARMEL, Ind. (Oct. 28, 2014) - Someone broke into more than a dozen vehicles in Carmel early Tuesday morning, prompting a police chase after a witness spotted them.

Around 5:20 a.m., a woman called police after seeing a group of men breaking into cars near Pennsylvania and Meridian. The suspects got into a white pickup truck and took off.

Police found the vehicle, a white Ford F-150, in the area of Meridian/116th Street. They tried to pull the truck over on southbound Meridian Street/I-465, but the suspect wouldn't stop. Police pursued the truck south on Meridian Street but ended the pursuit near Kessler/Meridian.

"Our supervisors actually terminated the pursuit for the safety of the citizens," explained Carmel Police Lt. Joe Bickel.

Police said 20 vehicles were broken into in the parking lots at Lakes of Carmel Apartments, Penn Circle Apartments and the Courtyard Marriott.

The vehicles were had their windows broken. Electronics, laptops, cash and credit cards were among the items stolen.

"We're actively investigating this case," said Bickel. "We have detectives right now who are searching for the suspects. We're hoping with some leads that we had come in this morning, that we're able to track down the suspects and ultimately make an arrest."

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Carmel Police Department Investigations Division at 571-2511 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana (317) 262-8477 (TIPS).

Bickel also offered advice for drivers, saying, "The ultimate deterrent would be to lock your car doors. Make sure the windows are rolled up. Be aware of your surroundings. Park in a well lit area.  Again, if they see something that looks unusual, like someone watching them or watching other vehicles, call the police department so we can check it out."

He also warned against leaving valuables inside of vehicles. That also goes for garage door openers left in cars, because thieves can use them to gain access to your home.

"If you're parking inside your garage, make sure the garage doors are shut," said Bickel. "I would even recommend locking the vehicles within the garage."

In Whitestown on Sunday morning, seven vehicles were stolen. Later that day, another car was also reported stolen from the same area. Last Thursday, more than 30 cars were also broken into at an apartment complex on Indianapolis' south side.

Whitestown Police Chief Dennis Anderson told Fox59 he thinks the recent string of thefts in Marion, Hendricks and Hamilton counties are connected.

"Once we find out who it is that's behind it, it's going to be a coordinated effort. There's too many hitting the donut counties around Marion. Exactly what's driving it, what the motivation is behind it, we don't know yet, but I'm certain that with enough police agencies looking at it, it's just a matter of time," said Anderson.