April 11, 2013

Thieves target parked cars

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The area of southern Laurel County has been the target of several crimes, the latest of which involves vehicles parked at area motels.

At least three vehicles were the target of thefts on Saturday night, with all three being parked at motels near the Exit 29 of Interstate 75. In two of the three thefts, the windows of the vehicles were broken out and laptop computers, cameras, and other items were stolen.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root and his deputies warn residents and travelers to either hide valuable items from the view of passersby or if staying in a motel, take those items inside the motel room.

Deputy and Public Affairs Officer Gilbert Acciardo said motel parking lots are often high-traffic areas and vehicle owners should put valuables out of sight.

“I don’t remember ever investigating a theft from a trunk,” Acciardo said. “People need to put valuable items where people passing by can’t see them. That entices thieves to break in.”

Acciardo said, in one of the break-ins over the weekend, some non-valuable items were taken from one vehicle.

“They weren’t valuable, but they looked it,” he added. “But even that may cause someone to break out a window and take them.”

Police are urging motorists not to leave valuable items in the passenger section of their vehicles.

The south Laurel area has seen its share of crimes in recent weeks.

Four armed robberies have taken place in that area over the past three weeks. Two of those came on Friday, March 22 and Sunday, March 24 at the BP/Krystal restaurant on Ky. 770. The following weekend, two other businesses in the same vicinity were hit by an armed robber on Friday and Sunday nights.

Police are still gathering information and interviewing subjects in those incidents and an arrest or arrests is expected soon. The Cumberland Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information concerning the armed robberies.

Anyone with information about the vehicle thefts and the armed robberies is urged to contact the sheriff’s office immediately at (606) 864-6600. Callers may remain anonymous.

The number for Cumberland Valley Crime Stoppers is (606) 878-CRIM or (606) 878-2746.