Police warning Toyota owners after rash of break-ins in South Philly

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police say dozens of vehicles have been broken into recently.

A majority of them have been happening in South Philadelphia and the brazen bandit is targeting one type of specific car--Toyotas.

Joseph Valene says several cars on his Bella Vista block were hit last month.

"My neighbor's Ring system picked up this guy walking up the street just breaking into cars," said Valene.

Neighborhood cameras caught the thief pacing up and down the 700 block of Marvine Street, breaking into cars.

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Philadelphia police say they are looking for a suspect targeting Toyotas as reported by Christie Ileto during Action News at 11 on March 11, 2019.

"This one particular person is breaking the window, walking away, checking the area, and then comes back and goes through the car so he's being pretty deceptive," said Capt. Michael O'Donnell with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Robo calls went out to residents this week warning them of the lawlessness.

Detectives say in the last two weeks, of the 51 car break-ins in the 17th police district, almost four dozen have been Toyotas.

"They're breaking the back window, and it's not setting off the alarm and people are able to get in undetected and take whatever they want," said O'Donnell.

That pattern has led police to believe this one person is behind the Toyota break-ins, striking from midnight to 3 a.m., hitting from Broad to 22nd streets. A vast number of blocks, but hits home for dozens of residents.

"It's scary because we're five feet away," said Valane.

"It's just the fact that it's happening in the neighborhood and repeatedly," said Riley Ross.

If you have any information about the man in this video you're asked to contact Philadelphia police.
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