Police investigate string of car break ins in rural Morgan County

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. (Dec. 7, 2015) - In what’s considered a safe, quiet and rural part of Morgan County, people are on edge after several car break-ins over several days.

“This kind of sent a jolt through the community,” said Waylon Higgins. “The wallet was inside the console of the car here where I had left it when I went into the gym.”

When Higgins woke up Friday to head to work, he noticed his car door left open.

“They actually left the car door open with the dome light on so they wouldn’t make a noise when they closed the door,” he said.

Missing from inside was his wallet. His car clearly had been broken into and rifled through. Higgins was hardly alone. Early Friday morning thieves hit Higgins' car, and every other car on his street.

The thieves hit Higgins' car parked right in his driveway, little did they know though, every move they made was caught on Higgins’ home surveillance cameras.

The home surveillance video is now a piece of evidence in an investigation spanning car break-ins over four days in select, rural parts of Morgan County.

“Where most of these cases have been reported, it’s been in one general area and so it’s either someone from that vicinity or someone that travels that route,” said Captain Brent Worth with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators are already piecing together clues. One of their biggest is a surveillance picture taken at a McDonald’s in Southern Marion County. The suspect used Higgins’ stolen debit card to pay for his purchase.

Officials now have a new concern.

“We have increased patrols in those areas. It’s not uncommon for them to start with a smaller offense like an unlocked vehicle and then move to a garage or an out building and then move to an actual home,” said Worth.

“Had they not taken my debit card and used it up at a McDonald's then there would be no surveillance footage of one of the criminals, so they would be running through the neighborhood still and we wouldn’t have any idea of what one of them even looks like,” said Higgins.

Investigators say the suspect was seen using the debit card at a McDonald’s at the intersection of South Kentucky Avenue and High School Road, in Marion County. If you have any information that may lead to an arrest, you’re asked to call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department at (765) 342-5544.