OLD TOWN, Maine — A rash of car burglaries in the Old Town-Milford area late Thursday night and early Friday morning has left some residents wondering if they’re better off locking their car doors or leaving them unlocked.
Old Town Police department Sgt. Scott Casey confirmed Friday that four vehicles parked at three different locations in Old Town were broken into, and a MIlford resident confirmed that her car — as well as that of a friend’s girlfriend on another Milford street — were broken into between 8 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday.
In all six cases, the vehicles were locked and the burglar(s) used what’s believed to be some kind of glass-shattering device to gain entry.
“The police think it’s one of those devices that punches windows out,” said a River Village Condominium resident whose car was burglarized in Milford Thursday night on River Village Drive. “I’m not going to leave anything in my car anymore, and I’m not even going to lock my car anymore.”
Sgt. Casey wouldn’t confirm or deny whether police had a theory on whether a device was used because it’s an active investigation.
The resident, whose purse was stolen along with her 10-year-old son’s wallet from the back seat, preferred not to have her name published in this story. She was especially shaken by the theft.
“I only had $6 in cash, but my iPhone was taken along with my credit cards and checkbook,” the lady said. “It must have been really quick, though, because I had an iPod in the center console and that wasn’t taken.”
The woman was especially frustrated because she had just started driving the newly-leased vehicle a week earlier.
“I’d been driving an old junker for six months, and I just got a new car November 8,” she said.
As she was talking about the burglary, the woman realized her son’s birthday money and a gift card were in his wallet, which she’d put in her purse.
“He just had his 10th birthday party with $50 cash and a $25 Target gift card,” she said as her son started crying in the background upon realizing his birthday proceeds were stolen.
The woman called SafeLite auto glass replacement service and said the representative she spoke to said hers was the fifth call of the day from that area.
The other Milford incident occurred on Maple Street sometime after 10:30 p.m.
Casey said the four Old Town vehicles were all broken into on Lincoln, Somerset and Center streets.
“Basically it’s the same MO in all four cases,” Casey said. “All of them were locked, but something valuable was left in plain view and one of the windows was smashed out to gain entry to the car. Wallets and/or cash was taken in most cases.”
Casey said police are encouraging anyone who may have heard or seen anything suspicious late Thursday or early Friday in the areas of the burglaries to call the Old Town police department at 827-3984. Tips can be made anonymously.
“It’s obviously a more aggressive act, as opposed to just opening an unlocked door, which is what we usually see,” said Casey.