HPD investigates string of vehicle burglaries
Law enforcement officers request residents be mindful of what they leave in their vehicles after three car burglaries were reported on Jan. 3.
Hartselle Police Chief Ron Puckett said leaving a vehicle unlocked makes it easy for criminal opportunists to take advantage of accessible property, especially firearms. The Hartselle PD is currently investigating these crimes and need help from the public for any information linking the crimes to a suspect or suspects.
“We are currently investigating the matter and any information anyone can bring to involving these incidents is greatly appreciated,” Puckett said. “Please lock your cars, especially with it being hunting season, many people will leave firearms and ammunition in their vehicles and then forget to lock it. A rifle is one of the easiest things to spot in a vehicle. If you are going to leave property in an unlocked car, you are making it easy for those looking to commit a crime to do so. I would encourage everyone to not leave their valuables in their cars, and to make sure they are not unlocked.”
According to the three Hartselle incident reports, which were all breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, none of them were actually “physically” broken into, the doors were left unlocked and the property inside the vehicles or garages, were taken.
“We are making it easy to have things stolen from us,” Puckett said. “It is easy to forget and leave your door unlocked: I have did it, we all have. Our city and county as a whole is a safe community. In our area, generally speaking, people will not enter a home while you are in it and commit a crime, but property crimes are a lot easier to commit. We can’t make it easy for criminal opportunists to commit crimes.”
The most recent string of car burglaries took place in the Booth Meadows area off of Kyle Road in Hartselle, Puckett said.
“With a lot of property owners now having a closer watch on their vehicles, my concern is that someone will get injured or killed because property owners have a right to protect their property,” Puckett said. “All in all, we can reduce a lot of this if we just lock our vehicles and remove valuables from them.”
Among those victimized by the burglaries were Carlos and Mallory Alberti who lost a firearm of sentimental value.
“They were able to get Carlos’s wallet and gun out of his vehicle,” Mallory said. “They broke into Hickory Heights subdivision, our subdivision, and on Highway 36. They mostly stole wallets and firearms.”
Since the burglary, Alberti posted a picture of the stolen firearm. She said according to another victimized couple, the alleged burglars were caught on camera and she believed it was three men, in hoodies and on foot.
If you have any information that could lead to the arrest of those involved, please contact the Hartselle Police Department.