By the numbers
* 22: Cars entered
* 2: Neighborhoods targeted
* 12: At least how many cars were unlocked
* 6: At least how many wallets were stolen
* 6: At least how many electronic devices were stolen
** Source: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office incident reports
WEST FORSYTH -- Residents of two neighborhoods in west Forsyth started their Independence Day holiday weekend off by realizing they were the victims of an overnight car break-in spree.
An unidentified suspect apparently went driveway to driveway in the late night hours of Thursday, June 30 and the early morning hours of Friday, July 1, stealing items from unlocked vehicles in the Evans Farms and Legacy at Prather Farm subdivisions off Canton Highway (Hwy. 20) and Post Road (Hwy. 371).
“We do get entering autos here, but a spree like that in one night is not typical,” said Deputy Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the agency.
The weekend being a holiday where people often travel may have been a contributing factor, though this does not happen every year or every holiday.
At least 17 incident reports were filed with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, with some reports containing two vehicles entered at the same home.
Incidents in Evans Farms were largely on Dartford Road and Idlewood Drive off Evans Road, which connects Hwy. 20 and Post Road.
Reports made in Prather Farm were farther south on Post Road on Prather Farm Circle.
Vehicles entered were “generally unlocked.” The suspect did not use force and did not damage the vehicles.
Items stolen included wallets, purses, sunglasses, iPods, navigation devices, laptops and cash.
Two victims’ credit cards were reportedly used at a Walmart in Lithonia at 6:30 a.m. on July 1, one of which was for a $1,000 purchase.
Another victim’s losses from items inside a purse were valued at more than $1,900.
“Always keep your car locked, no matter where you’re at,” Rodriguez said. “Don’t leave valuables in your car. People will not only keep their cars unlocked, but they’ll keep [belongings] as far as jewelry, cash and guns in their car.”
He said residents who do keep their vehicles unlocked in their driveway overnight or anywhere else should keep items such as purses, money or firearms out of sight.
A crime scene unit is investigating the incidents.
“To my knowledge, we don’t have any suspects at this time,” Rodriguez said.
Two incident reports described a neighbor’s surveillance footage that captured a man of an unknown race pull on his pickup truck’s passenger door handle.
“The male does not attempt to force to gain entry” to the vehicle and “walks away on foot” from the resident’s house, according to the report.
“It is unknown if there is more than one suspect in this case. That male was wearing a hooded jacket, half face mask, black pants, tennis shoes and gloves,” the report said.
Rodriguez said anyone with information or any victims who have not yet filed a report can call the sheriff’s office at (770) 781-2222.