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Rash of cars broken into at Cumming shopping center
Midday spree occurred in Lakeland Plaza
CPD

CUMMING -- The Cumming Police Department is investigating a recent spree of car break-ins that occurred in a shopping mall parking lot midday just off Exit 14 of Ga. 400 on Highway 20.

Officers were dispatched to the Lakeland Plaza area and the Cumming Stars and Strikes bowling alley Wednesday, Nov. 9 after receiving calls about smashed car windows and attempted thefts.

At least eight vehicles were broken into, with the suspect apparently forcing a tool into car window tracks and breaking the glass, according to incident reports.

All the thefts are estimated to have occurred between noon and 6:45 p.m. and items stolen included a handgun and a pistol.

The majority of victims reported either a passenger-side front window or the driver’s window was shattered.

Deputy Chief Aletha Barrett, spokeswoman for the department, said officers have not named suspects yet but are reviewing video footage and speaking with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, which she said also received reports of similar break-ins.

“It’s unusual to have that many in one day, and the county had several as well,” she said. “These weren’t items that were left out in plain sight — the perpetrator(s) broke the car windows and actively [searched] for items.”

At least four victims told officers the cars’ central consoles had been “rummaged through,” reports said.

“Usually, people are looking for unlocked cars and pulling on door handles. This is out of the ordinary,” Barrett said.

She also said though there is no good way to prevent perpetrators from smashing windows, residents should bring items inside their homes or workplace when leaving a vehicle or lock items in the trunk.

“Valuables — in the open or hidden — should not be locked in the car,” she said.

Most cars have trunk release buttons near the driver’s seat or steering wheel which can be locked with a car key.

Many, when not locked, allow trunk access if a person is inside the car, so those, too, should be locked.