Police investigating string of vehicle break-ins in Forest Grove
After several Forest Grove residents had belongings stolen from their cars early Friday morning, Jan. 3., the Forest Grove Police Department is asking homeowners to review surveillance videos.
The break-ins occurred in multiple neighborhoods near Forest Grove High School between midnight and 6 a.m., said Capt. Mike Hall, spokesman for the department.
The victims' cars were unlocked at the time of the break-ins, Hall said.
By Friday afternoon, six people reported that items had been stolen from their cars, but Hall said that number may rise because people often don't immediately report such incidents.
Hall said officers are investigating the incidents and he urged people to lock their cars and remove valuables from them when unattended.
He couldn't say whether or not the string of break-ins was related to other recent vehicle-related crimes, adding that prior to Friday night, the data didn't suggest a rash of such crime in the area.
In December, there were 17 instances of vehicle-related crimes in Forest Grove, Hall said. Nine instances were theft from a vehicle and five were stolen vehicles.
That's up slightly from November, when there were 10 instances of vehicle-related crimes, including three stolen vehicles.
"Month-to-month, there's a lot of randomness to this," Hall said. "Sometimes you can get nine in a night if some guy scores in a neighborhood."
The last time there was a distinct rise in vehicle-related crimes that police could tie to a single person was in May, when there were 72 incidents, Hall said. He added they caught the person responsible.
Hall said people should never leave their cars running unattended to defrost in cold weather. One person who left their car running to defrost had their vehicle stolen in December, Hall said.
He said making sure vehicles are as secured as possible can help with public safety.
In November, 23-year-old Isaiah Mohr stole a running vehicle in Forest Grove and ended up crashing it into two Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicles and then into someone's home in Aloha.
Anyone with information about the vehicle break-ins should contact Forest Grove police, Hall said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.