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Police Remind People to Keep Valuables at Home After Series of Car Break-Ins

Twenty-three car break-ins were reported in Altoona in the last month. (WHO-HD)

ALTOONA, Iowa  —  Police are increasing patrols after numerous break-ins in Altoona.

Police have received reports of items stolen from vehicles during 23 break-ins just in the last month. They say in most cases, the cars were unlocked.

Officials are reminding people to lock their doors to keep valuable items at home instead of inside vehicles–or, at least, to keep them hidden.

“The most recent one we’ve had, the only thing of value that was taken was a cell phone,” said Altoona Police Department Detective Sergeant Brett Handy. “But we’ve had cases where we’ve had laptops taken. We’ve had purses with credit cards taken. Those are the things that’s frightening for people, especially since identity theft is getting prone and out there as far as crime.”

Handy says there has been one arrest in connection to one of the break-ins.

Nicholas Viola is in the Polk County Jail facing several charges including first degree theft.

Nicholas Viola. (WHO-HD)

Nicholas Viola. (WHO-HD)