Police warn of Cherry Hill car break-ins

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - October 26, 2011

Police have retrieved some of the stolen goods and are trying to get the word out about this growing crime.

iPods, laptops, cameras and other items are among the goods stolen in recent weeks from unlocked cars.

Cherry Hill police say the thieves are targeting hot spots including the Marketplace along route 70 and the Cherry Hill Mall.

Police suspect the bandits are hooked on drugs looking for quick cash.

Lt. William Kushina says heroin is a growing problem in the suburbs.

He warns thought that big box retailers and malls aren't the only targets.

"They're going through developments at night on foot, walking up to each car, trying the door handle and if it's unlocked they go in and take the change and whatever else is in there, the iPod, the camera, the laptop, jewelry, anything people may leave in there," Kushina said.

Investigators have been working with merchants to stop the rash of break-ins and increasing patrols.

An undercover operation at the Marketplace led to the arrest of Darryl Milton three weeks ago. He was roaming the lot in the middle of the day.

"We'll put a bait car out there and put some valuable stuff left in the car unlocked and a couple of times the bad guys have come along and taken the stuff that was in it and were subsequently arrested," Kushina said.

Kushina expects the break-ins to increasingly continue with the upcoming holiday shopping season and people need to lock their doors and remove valuables.

If they must be in the car, lock them in the trunk.

"If it's not there, they're not going to take it," Kushina said.

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