Mischief-makers were out after 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, breaking into cars and burglarizing at least one local business.
Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison contacted The Brazil Times after theft reports started coming into the department around 5 a.m., with evidence pointing to the first theft at around 2 a.m.
"So far, we've had seven reports today," Harrison said Tuesday afternoon. "They stopped about 1 p.m., but as people get out more they may notice something wrong with their cars and call in. We need people to let us know if their car was broken into even if there was nothing taken. That way we can plot the area of the break-ins and the time span of the thefts."
According to Harrison, Reece Oil, 230 South Chicago Ave., someone forced their way into the business late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. No other details were provided.
During the same time, Harrison said six unlocked vehicles in various locations from North McGuire Street south to Chicago Ave. and Leavitt Street areas were broken into and various items were taken.
"It's a safe bet they are connected," Harrison said about the incidents. "People really need to lock their vehicles. All we can do is give out the best safety advice we can. People can accept the advice if they want to and take safety precautions, but if they don't they will be a potential victim."
Harrison said many people are afraid a thief will break their vehicle windows to get inside if they lock their car, but that is not the case.
"Breaking windows is too loud, it draws attention to what is happening. (Thieves) don't like that," he said. "They're out there looking for an easy target."
There have been approximately 30 thefts from vehicles in the Brazil area since the first of the year and, according to Harrison, 100 percent of them were from unlocked vehicles.
"If a car is locked, there is a very slim chance the owner will not be a victim," Harrison said. "Of all the cases we have worked, I don't know of any with broken windows."
Since July 1, Harrison said officers have worked 24 actual burglaries and nine attempted burglaries.
"The numbers are not unusual," Harrison said. "Crime increases (like burglaries and vehicle thefts) goes in spurts. That is why it is important that the public gets involved in reporting suspicious activity in their area."
To make a crime report or report information about a crime, contact the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.