SATSUMA, Ala. (WALA) - Satsuma Police said 18 auto burglaries took place in one night, this week.
In response, police and city officials have scheduled a meeting to take place 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 22 at Satsuma City Hall.
Police said they want to discuss the problem and find some solutions, and residents are encouraged to come to this meeting.
Satsuma's chief of police is also taking action and stepping up enforcement.
"Our plan is to put a directive unit out in the area. We don't want to focus on one area and neglect another; so we plan to heavily and actively pursue these suspects, but also patrol the city aggressively in the late night and early morning hours," said Satsuma Police Chief Chris McLean.
On the Mobile County Sheriff's website a map shows where the thieves struck: mainly in the Vaughan's Palisades subdivision in the northeast part of the city.
Cheryl Hoffman was one of 18 victims of an auto break in spree that occurred during a four hour period, sometime Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
"I went to get in the car, and my glove box was open, and there were papers scattered all over the car seat," Hoffman said.
She said she only lost some spare change.
"I left my vehicle unlocked, but evidently that was a good thing because people who had theirs locked had their windows busted out," said Hoffman.
Others weren't so lucky.
"They used a screwdriver. They punched the glass out. They never opened up the doors and went through the window itself. It was obvious that these items were in plain sight," said Satsuma Police Chief Chris McLean.
Police said it didn't matter how far or high the suspects had to go to steal.
"There were several items taken a lot of them were purses, cash, jewelry, weapons – firearms," said Chief McLean.
Police said four guns were stolen.
"This is not good. This is a black eye to us. I take it personally," said Chief McLean.
A resident spotted what police said turned out to be the suspects' vehicle parked outside the front of his house at 4:30 a.m. He said when he turned on his porch light the car drove away.
"Thought it was suspicious, but didn't call us," said Chief McLean.
McLean said he wants to strengthen the bond between his department and the community as a first step to prevent any future crime spree.
"We really want to start this community watch program, we need the eyes and ears of the public out there ... And I want to recruit them and I want to be able to use them and help them help themselves and help us out when it comes to fighting crime out here on the street," said Chief McLean.
Chief McLean said a witness reported the suspects as three men and possibly a woman, driving.
Police recovered evidence from a stolen car abandoned in Satsuma and are following those leads.
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