By Larry Kline/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Havre police are investigating a string of car break-ins that have occurred in recent months. Several arrests have been made, but police aren't sure the arrests will curb the trend.
Havre police Lt. Russ Ostwalt said the thefts usually involve stereo equipment and often occur when a car is left unlocked or if valuable items are left in view. He encouraged residents to lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight.
"It only takes a second to bust out a window," Ostwalt said. "Keep items of value out of plain view."
He said he did not know a reason for the increase in break-ins, but said warmer temperatures this winter may have something to do with it.
"Thefts go way down when it's 20 below out," Ostwalt said.
The department arrested two men on Saturday on one charge each of theft and criminal trespass to vehicles. They were arrested after one of them admitted taking a Dewalt saw from a vehicle parked at a hotel, Ostwalt said.
Two boys, ages 14 and 16, were arrested Jan. 14 in connection with three different thefts. An investigation led police to the boys, Ostwalt said, after one of the victims located the stolen items at a pawn shop. The boys have been charged in juvenile court, Ostwalt said.
Many cases of theft from vehicles go unsolved, Ostwalt said, because perpetrators often pick their targets at random.
"A lot of them do go unsolved because it's a crime of opportunity," he added. "The victim and suspect have nothing in common," and police are left with little to go on.
Theft is Havre's most common crime, Ostwalt said.