SATSUMA, Ala. (WALA) - A standing room only crowd attended a special meeting Friday night called by Police Chief Chris McLean in response to the recent car burglaries in the Vaughn community.
Chief McLean said 18 cars were broken into during the early morning hours Tuesday during a heavy thunderstorm. According to Mclean the thieves are the same ones who hit the city back in June, and who are also responsible for break-ins in several other cities In Mobile and Baldwin counties, and Mississippi.
"We know who they are," Mclean said.
A special task force including other agencies was set up in June after the first round of burglaries in the city.
The chief said the burglary ring was different than others in several ways, because vehicles are stolen, and the thieves keep the stolen vehicles for weeks to use in other crimes. Mclean also said normally unlocked cars are targeted in car burglaries, but he said this group broke the windows in many of the cars. By breaking the window the thieves were able to reach inside the cars without setting off the car alarm. "I have to give the Devil his due," Mclean said. "They know what they're doing, but we're better."
The chief encouraged citizens not to leave valuable items inside their cars. According to Mclean there were valuable items visible inside all of the cars that were targeted Tuesday.
The chief asked those in attendance to report anything suspicious. Mclean said some people have been hesitant to report something they thought was suspicious.
The city has organized extra patrols for the Vaughn's community, but Mclean said the city would not neglect other areas of the city.
The chief said he hopes to organize Community Watch groups for each of the cities seven sectors. He said there will be other meetings in the future.
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