COVINGTON -- There was a crime wave within less than a 1-mile radius in Covington in the early morning hours Thursday with 17 entering autos and one stolen vehicle reported to the Covington Police Department.
According to CPD Public Information Officer Capt. Ken Malcom, the incidents that have been reported so far all occurred in the area of the Covington Place neighborhood, including south Dearing Street, Ashley Drive, Forrest Drive, Farmington Lane, Golfside Drive, Brooks Cove and Fairway Lane.
"As of 11 a.m. Thursday, we've got 17 entering autos and one stolen auto report," Malcom said. "We did recover the vehicle, a 2007 Buick, in Redan at a DeKalb County apartment complex."
Malcom said officers expect to get more reports as the day goes on.
"Maybe people leaving for work didn't realize the magnitude of what had occurred in the area and if they didn't notice something missing, they may not have called us," he said. "We're expecting more reports later as people get home from work and as people realize they have items missing from their vehicles. We're wanting those calls and are expecting those calls because you never know when one person has some type of information or potential evidence that was left to help us break the case."
He said, so far, the items that have been reported missing are credit cards and guns. In all cases, the vehicles that were entered were left unlocked.
"In some cases, there were other vehicles on the property that were locked that were not disturbed, but those that were left unlocked were entered," Malcom said, adding that it is a common scenario for one or more individuals to go through a neighborhood at night attempting to open car doors.
"If the door is locked, they move on; if not, they go in and see what they can find," he said. "This is a reminder of how important it is to lock your car and secure your valuables."
Malcom said they are interviewing neighbors and searching for witnesses.
"We're hoping somebody saw something during the night -- a vehicle, an individual maybe walking in the neighborhood. We do have some leads right now," he said, adding that the recovered vehicle could potentially generate fingerprints and other leads and they will be reviewing surveillance videos and are working with other jurisdictions. "We're encouraging people who may have some information to be in contact with us, or if they are a victim to call 911."
Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation, can leave it anonymously via multiple sources -- go to www.covingtonpolice.com and click the anonymous tip icon on the left; call the CPD tip line at 770-385-6430; or go to the mobile app "tipsubmit."