The Cape Elizabeth Police Department hopes that its planned overnight bicycle patrol will help cut down on motor vehicle burglaries.

Police received 11 reports of such burglaries in the first two weeks of June, including an apparent series of six on Mitchell Road and two nearby roads on the night of June 1.

“It’s bad. We’ve been getting killed all year with these,” Capt. Brent Sinclair said Tuesday. “We can’t repeat enough to the public: Lock your cars.”

Most of the burglaries involved unlocked vehicles, he said. Thieves took iPods, loose change, purses, wallets and prescription medication, among other items.

“Pretty much all of them are occurring near the South Portland line, on that end of town,” Sinclair said. “Basically they are just going through, grabbing change, iPods, anything that they can pawn quickly.”

Two of the 11 burglaries have been solved, while the rest remain under investigation, he said.

On June 10, police arrested Adam Wedge, 21, of South Portland and charged him with a motor vehicle burglary on Cliff Avenue. Sinclair said another arrest is expected soon, for one of two recent burglaries at Fort Williams Park.

Overnight car burglaries in Cape Elizabeth, particularly in the neighborhoods along Mitchell and Shore roads, have been a problem for several years, despite several arrests.

In December 2006, police arrested a 16-year-old boy from Cape Elizabeth and a 15-year-old boy from South Portland in connection with a series of car burglaries. Officer Nicholas Rich made contact with the teenagers when he was on a routine patrol on Mitchell Road, and one of them ran away. Later searches of the boys’ homes yielded $5,000 to $10,000 worth of property, including cellphones and laptop computers.

Cape Elizabeth’s police department has two mountain bikes available for patrol. But manpower is an issue because the town has only six patrol officers, and only two of them are on the roads during some shifts.

Sinclair said he hopes to put a third officer on a bike for some overnight shifts in the end of town where burglaries have been frequent.

Anyone with information about the burglaries should contact Cape Elizabeth police at 767-3323.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at: [email protected]