by Taylor Milligan
On Saturday, 19-year-old Peachtree City resident David McElroy was arrested for a 30-car entering streak in the Glenloch area. Officers responded to the scene and arrested him in his home after receiving two phone calls reporting suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Citizens reported seeing McElroy putting stolen items through his home window. Officers related the cluster of car enterings directly to McElroy since a majority of the vehicles affected were along the same road and near the neighborhood of the assailant.
Officers found multiple items that were taken from the vehicles such as loose cash and change along with weapons including knives and stun guns in McElroy’s home. The theft streak in the often unlocked cars of the area has raised concern of citizens affected, but Peachtree City Lt. Odilia Bergh sees a simple solution to this newly common style of theft.
“We can not overemphasize the importance of locking your car and we try to get that out as much as we can,” Bergh said.
Bergh also explained how it is common for citizens to leave valuables in their cars since they assume their vehicles are safe once they are parked their driveways. A citizen leaving their vehicle unlocked with valuables in plain sight gives open potential for car theft no matter the proximity of the car to their home.
Bergh compared the cars to the idea of fishing in a pond. If there are no fish (your valuables), the less likely a thief will be attracted to search through your vehicle. In addition, Bergh made the suggestion for citizens to invest in placing security cameras outside their home to aid in officers identifying a thief more quickly. This will be especially helpful for citizens who park vehicles in their open driveways everyday. According to Bergh, the cameras are becoming more and more readily available and are fairly inexpensive.
McElroy was charged with 30 counts of vehicle entering and one count of criminal use of article with altered identification mark coming from a firearm found in his home with a tampered serial number. Investigators are continuing their search to find if McElroy has any more connections with previous similar incidents in the city.
“If we could get folks involved in trying to protect their items, I think it could make a huge impact,” Bergh said.