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’There’s no excuse’: Shandon residents frustrated about vehicle thefts, break-ins ahead of community meeting

Updated: Jul. 26, 2019 at 8:15 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Scenes like the one in front of Representative Seth Rose’s house are playing out all across Shandon, neighbors said.

It’s late, or rather… early in the morning. Through a security video, you see an unknown person enter a car that is not theirs and drive off in it. Neighbors are frustrated it keeps happening while city leaders said the answer starts with the people whose cars are gone.

"It would really help us if the neighborhoods would step up and secure their vehicles,” said Columbia City Council At-Large member Howard Duvall. “Secure their property and help the police force. They can be a force multiplier for our police force.”

Councilman Duvall said of the recent car thefts in the Shandon neighborhood on Columbia’s south side, all of the keys were inside the vehicles. WIS has not confirmed this information. At this time, we have not received the statistics from Columbia Police Department about the auto theft and break-in numbers from June 1, 2019 – July 25, 2019.

"It's just really scary to go out to your car in the morning to find that your privacy has been invaded,” said 50-year Shandon resident Dr. Kelly Hynes Morris. “Even though I lock my car doors, they've gotten in that way."

Dr. Morris said her car has been rifled through several times. Her laptop was stolen and her belongings ravaged from her glove box. And while she said she knows some people forget to lock their cars sometimes, that doesn’t give a thief the right to enter it.

"There's no excuse for someone who doesn't have access to your car to get in your car. We try to lock our cars,” she said. “We forget. That's a normal thing. That doesn't give someone the right to get in your car."

Dr. Morris aims to start a Facebook community crime watch group within the Shandon area. She said she already has 25 neighbors on board.

We are still waiting on official numbers from CPD, but the department’s spokesperson said those numbers will be available at a special-called meeting at Heyward Street United Methodist Church Monday night at 6 p.m.

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