COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office is battling a series of entering auto complaints and is asking for the community's help in solving the cases.
Five reports came from the Eastwood Forest subdivision, located off U.S. Highway 278 East, Monday night.
According to NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell, five residents reported their vehicles had been entered sometime between 10 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday. Various items of value were taken.
"Most of the vehicles were unlocked," Mitchell said.
Items taken included GPS devices, weapons, purses, notebook computers and even an umbrella.
"We're giving this area extra patrols and patrolling as hard and heavy as we can when we're not answering other calls for service," Mitchell said. "We're asking the community to help us by taking precautions."
He said the NCSO is asking residents to make sure their vehicles are locked at all times, remove personal items of value and secure them in their homes, and leave nothing in plain sight that may attract a thief.
"The individuals who are doing this are committing crimes of opportunity," Mitchell said, pointing out that if they can't see valuables, they may not waste time breaking into a vehicle.
Mitchell said that in the last couple of weeks there has been an increase of entering auto complaints in the east end of county. Several autos in the Alcovy Crossing subdivision were broken into recently as well.
Mitchell urged residents to call the NCSO if they see or hear anything suspicious in their community, especially late at night, such as dogs suddenly barking or security lights coming on.
"Even if your security light comes on and scares someone away, deputies may still be able to find the individual," he said. "Don't ever think you're going to bother us by calling. Call 911, by all means. We'll respond and see what's going on."
Also, if anyone has information regarding this recent rash of entering autos, they should call 678-625-1400. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through the Web site at www.newtonsheriffga.org by clicking on "anonymous tips." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.