Austintown unlocked cars hit by thieves - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Austintown unlocked cars hit by thieves

Updated:

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio - An admitted thief tells police how he makes easy money, thanks to people who leave their cars outside and unlocked overnight.

Take a drive on a typical residential street and you may be surprised at how many vehicles are parked outside.

And according to a recent case in Austintown, about one in every five will be left unlocked overnight.

Police say it's an open invitation for someone like Richard Backer, who would walk the streets after everyone was asleep.

"He basically set out at night, usually after midnight. He'd walk through the neighborhood and seek out cars that were unlocked, basically walk the entire length of the street," said Austintown Detective Shawn Hevener.

The detective says the thieves are looking for money or anything they can turn into cash.

"Electronics, GPS, iPads, things of that nature. Currency, change or paper money, and gift cards," Hevener said.

According to police, Backer operated over a period of several months.

"He bragged about trying over a thousand cars, getting into over 200. They're not really busting windows, it makes too much noise," said Hevener.

Window smashing usually happens in cases where items are left in plain sight inside the car. "You're basically putting a target or your car," Hevener said.

Your best defense is always to lock your vehicle, park under a light if possible and don't leave anything of value in view.

Backer is currently servicing a six month jail sentence on theft from auto charges.

Austintown police have also issued an arrest warrant for Zachery Rovder who is presently being held in Trumbull County on other charges.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Ohio State president, band leaders to meet

    Ohio State president, band leaders to meet

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:13 AM EDT2014-08-21 14:13:25 GMT
    Courtesy:  NBC NewsCourtesy: NBC News
    University and marching band leaders at Ohio State are preparing to meet to discuss the future path of the organization after the firing of its director.More >>
    University and marching band leaders at Ohio State are preparing to meet to discuss the future path of the organization after the firing of its director.
    More >>
  • Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

    Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-08-21 14:03:51 GMT
    Fewer people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, another sign the job market is improving.More >>
    Fewer people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, another sign the job market is improving.More >>
  • Ohio woman sent to prison for school outburst

    Ohio woman sent to prison for school outburst

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:59:08 GMT
    An Ohio woman has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for assaulting a teacher, principal and cafeteria worker at her son's elementary school after being told she needed a visitor's badge.More >>
    An Ohio woman has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for assaulting a teacher, principal and cafeteria worker at her son's elementary school after being told she needed a visitor's badge.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms