Sherman Hill Residents Concerned Over Car Break-Ins, But Do Stats Show an Increase?

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Police say car break-ins are tough to prevent and thieves are hard to catch.  Recently, Sherman Hill has had its share of break-ins, and police are asking for the community's assistance.

This year, there have been ten reported cases of car burglary in Sherman Hill. That's the same number as there were this time last year, but “reported” is the key word.

“I'm sure that there's other car burglaries or thefts from auto that aren't being reported, 'cause a lot of times people don't bring those to our attention,” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Paul Parizek.

Police say that there have been anecdotal reports of crime in the Sherman Hill area, but so far, the numbers don't show an increase in car burglaries from last year.

“I think we've had some that have been close together in time, but again, the number isn't a big rise yet,” said Parizek.

With usually very little evidence left behind by thieves, and often without video evidence, catching the criminals is tough, and police rely on these crimes being called in.

“We need to know when they're happening, so when we've had 10 reported in that time period, I would guess that there's probably more. So we need to know about crime so we can respond to it. These are statistical things that we look at ongoing throughout every year, so we know where we can shift our resources to,” said Parizek.

Meanwhile, residents say they've noticed a bit of a shift in activity in their neighborhood.

“A friend of mine had his windshield cracked in here two months ago, somebody had the nerve to throw a brick through a windshield,” said Sherman Hill resident Philip Davis. “I'll wake up at three or four in the morning and there's people running around, I mean non-stop. I do live next to a bar, but still, even after 2 o'clock there's still people running around and doing nothing.”

Davis says he makes it a point to lock up his car, he knows it could be a target.

“I live next to Carl's Place and they're busy at night and it's a lot of cars in one area, so I mean it's nothing for somebody to walk by and check ten cars in 30 seconds,” he said.

Police say the most you can do to protect yourself is lock the doors, don't leave any valuables out, and park in a well-lit area.