CAPE ELIZABETH — Police are encouraging residents to lock their homes and vehicles after a spike in burglaries over the past two months.

Detective Paul Fenton said there have been 33 reported vehicle break-ins and two home burglaries. He said he believes there have been others that haven’t been reported.

“This kind of crime can be a problem in a quiet community,” he said. “People have a false sense of security and need to tighten up their homes and vehicles.”

Fenton said two juveniles from Westbrook, one adult from South Portland, and two juveniles from Cape Elizabeth have been arrested in connection with a few of the motor vehicle burglaries. 

“Kids are doing what they call car shopping,” he said. “These burglaries take place close to where the parties are. They walk home after the party, and the next day we find a string of burglaries in their wake.”

Fenton said juveniles are aware it is a misdemeanor to break into an unlocked car and a felony to break into a locked vehicle, so they target the open cars.

“I urge residents to remove valuables from their cars, lock them, and report any item that is missing,” he said.

Fenton also said it is important for residents to record serial numbers of their electronics, GPS units, phones and cameras. If the numbers are recorded, police can alert pawn shops or identify the owners when items are recovered.

Many people can replace a stolen camera or phone, he said, but the photographs, videos and memories are lost forever.

“This isn’t about tourists coming to town and taking wallets, its about local people targeting neighborhoods at night and going after the people who feel secure,” he said.

He urged residents to report any suspicious activity to the Police Department, report items that are missing, and secure their homes and vehicles.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]

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