Austintown unlocked cars hit by thieves - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren 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 NewsMore>>

  • Trumbull commissioners approve hire of county administrator

    Trumbull commissioners approve hire of county administrator

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:53 PM EST2018-02-20 22:53:32 GMT
    A new administrator will oversee operations and purchases made in Trumbull County. Trumbull County Commissioners Dan Polivka and Mauro Cantalamessa voted to approve the hiring of Mike Matas at their meeting today. Matas currently works as Lake County's budget director. County Commissioner Frank Fuda was the lone no vote against the move. Fuda has told 21 News in recent weeks that he doesn't believe the county has the finances to pay for a county administrator. Polivka says Matas c...More >>
    A new administrator will oversee operations and purchases made in Trumbull County. Trumbull County Commissioners Dan Polivka and Mauro Cantalamessa voted to approve the hiring of Mike Matas at their meeting today. Matas currently works as Lake County's budget director. County Commissioner Frank Fuda was the lone no vote against the move. Fuda has told 21 News in recent weeks that he doesn't believe the county has the finances to pay for a county administrator. Polivka says Matas c...More >>
  • Trumbull County sees progress in fighting opioid epidemic

    Trumbull County sees progress in fighting opioid epidemic

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:48 PM EST2018-02-20 22:48:13 GMT

    In our continuing efforts to find solutions to fighting the opioid epidemic, we're learning the public outreach to warn the community about its impact could be producing results. "We're looking much better so far this year, we're keeping our fingers crossed," Kathy Parilla said, with the Trumbull County Health Department. Parilla shared the latest data on the opioid epidemic in the county at Tuesday's Alliance for Substance Abuse and Prevention meeting. Members of multiple...

    More >>

    In our continuing efforts to find solutions to fighting the opioid epidemic, we're learning the public outreach to warn the community about its impact could be producing results. "We're looking much better so far this year, we're keeping our fingers crossed," Kathy Parilla said, with the Trumbull County Health Department. Parilla shared the latest data on the opioid epidemic in the county at Tuesday's Alliance for Substance Abuse and Prevention meeting. Members of multiple...

    More >>
  • Columbiana girl's basketball coach will keep job after abuse allegations

    Columbiana girl's basketball coach will keep job after abuse allegations

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:08 PM EST2018-02-20 22:08:23 GMT

    According to a statement sent out by the district Tuesday afternoon Coach Ron Moschella will remain the girls head coach for the rest of the year.  

    More >>

    According to a statement sent out by the district Tuesday afternoon Coach Ron Moschella will remain the girls head coach for the rest of the year.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms