The Westbrook Police are investigating a series of car burglaries throughout the city and warning residents not to leave any valuable items in their vehicles, especially overnight.

Police Chief Paul McCarthy said there have been 38 car burglaries reported in the city in the past two months. He said most of the time, small amounts of money have been taken from the cars.

“Mostly what has been stolen has been toll change that has been left in the cars,” he said.

However, McCarthy said in some cases, more valuable items, such as cell phones and cameras, have been stolen as well. He said most of the items were in plain view in unlocked vehicles.

The break-ins have not been limited to just one area of the city, said McCarthy. He said car burglaries have been reported all around Westbrook, with most of the incidents occurring during the overnight hours.

Police have arrested one juvenile male who they caught in the act of burglarizing a car on July 9, and they have leads on other suspects they believe could be responsible for some of the robberies. They have made no further arrests, however, said McCarthy.

McCarthy said he doesn’t feel there is an organized group breaking into cars. He said he believes it is likely there are several individuals or groups responsible and it is likely that some of these incidents occurred after word spread about the ease of taking money and other things from unlocked cars.

“One kid tries it, and he’s successful and gets away with it,” said McCarthy. “He tells his buddies, and now we have two or three groups doing it.”

Residents should take every precaution to ensure their valuables are safe and their cars are locked each night, McCarthy said. “People should remove items of value from their car every day,” McCarthy said. “Don’t leave your cell phone, camera, briefcase, purse, or any cash at all in view,” he said.

McCarthy added if residents still feel they must leave things in their cars, they should take care that all items are stored out of plain view. He suggested storing any items left in the car in the vehicle’s trunk or under the seat.

The burglaries remain under investigation by the Westbrook Police. Anyone with any information should call the police at 854-0644.

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