COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The last time John Covert saw his truck thieves were hopping in, and driving away.
“Saturday after Thanksgiving, we woke up about 3 o’clock in the morning, we heard a noise,” Covert said. “I didn’t think anything of it, and when I got up the next morning, I realized that my truck was gone. It was parked on the curb directly next to my house.”
Covert is just the latest victim in a string of vehicle thefts and burglaries that have recently plagued the northeast side of Richland County.
“This is such a great neighborhood, and it’s peaceful, and it’s safe,” he said. “We do still feel safe but it was just so strange to realize that it was gone, and then I realized that the noise we’d heard was them driving off with my truck.”
Covert caught the thieves on his home security system and said there seemed to be an entire team of people checking vehicles that night at around 3 in the morning.
“There was about 6 individuals. It seemed to be somewhat organized,” he said. “We did think it was interesting that there were so many people involved. That was a little bit scary.”
Richland County Sheriff’s Department has been following these reports and even joined in on a community security meeting last week regarding the recent crime.
They’ve asked that everyone clear out any belongings from vehicles, make sure your doors are locked, and keep your homes well lit.
“Things that you’ve heard and we all know are good practice, especially when there’s a rash of these type incidents going on, just to be diligent,” Covert said.
A representative from the Sheriff’s department said that an estimated 85 percent of the recent break-ins have been on unlocked cars.