EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville Police Department is requesting assistance in identifying suspects involved in four “smash and grab” vehicle burglaries, which occurred between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, at local fitness centers in Edwardsville.
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Two vehicles were burglarized at the YMCA on Goshen Road, one at the YMCA on Esic Drive and one at Planet Fitness near the intersection of Plum Street and Governors’ Parkway.
Video footage of one of the burglaries shows what appears to be two or three male suspects travelling in a newer model silver or gray Dodge Charger. After pulling onto the parking lot and looking through the windows of vehicles, a window is broken and items stolen from within the vehicle.
Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven said by looking at videos it appears there are two or three people involved in the car burglaries. Because of the car being so visible in one of the photos, Keeven said he believes it will be easier to identify.
"If it is owned by one of the individuals and not stolen that could be a key," Keeven said of the getaway car. "These people scoped out the cars and determined there were purses and a laptop computer visible in the car. We looked at the videos and these individuals looked in the vehicles, backed in next to them and burglarized them. The time they were in and out and driving away was about 10-12 seconds."
Keeven recommended to people to not leave any valuables in their vehicles in plain view. He said with those types of items it is much better to put them in the trunk away from the view of any criminals.
"These were easy targets when you think how long it takes to break a window and drive away," Keeven said. "There was a lot of vehicular traffic in the videos. The suspect or suspects walked in between cars, backed up and sat for a minute or two until two or three cars had gone by. Then you can see the top of the head of the guy breaking the passenger window, getting in the car and grabbing the things, then gone."
Keeven said anytime they seek the community's help in these type of criminal matters, people normally respond with information and he hopes that will happen this time. He said any little piece of info, even if it seems insigificant might be the key to solving these crimes.
"We believe it was the same people who committed the different burglaries," he said.
Surveillance photos of the suspects are attached. The Edwardsville Police Department is asking anyone who recognizes any of the suspects or the vehicle, or has information regarding this incident, to contact the Edwardsville Police Department at (618) 656-2131 or our anonymous tip line at (618) 692-7552.