"Hole-punch" car thieves active in Jackson area - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

"Hole-punch" car thieves active in Jackson area

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There are reports from south Mississippi that auto burglars have perfected a technique to overcome the locks in certain vehicles.     

Three on your side checked with law enforcement in JJackson and Hinds County to see if similar crimes are happening here.

Duane Helmick, an appraiser for Clinton Body Shop, showed us how easy it is to either steal, the most common targets, a Ford or Chevrolet truck or just burglarize it.

"They take a screwdriver and they stick it between the handle and the door here, shove it in and go around a lever they catch and shove it down," said Helmick. "The rod connects to the latch which unlocks the door. They are in as fast as you can put the key in."

Helmick says there is a device that will overcome the easy theft procedure that will cost just over one hundred dollars installed.

Curtis Smith, a retired Jackson police officer, had his Ford F-250 broken into in Jackson recently.

"An officer came out and showed me a spot right here where he went in the door, and it didn't take them long," said Smith.

Michel Clark of Raymond has had his truck broken into twice.

"I work very hard to pay for the stuff I've got and it just gets aggravating when people try to take it like this," said Clark. "Just can't have anything anymore. It's getting way out of hand."

Jackson Police and the Hinds County Sheriff's department say the theft problem is still with us, but is not as bad as it used to be.

"We occasionally have incidents like this, but most of the time auto burglaries occur when people leave their doors unlocked," said Captain Steve Bailey, Chief Investigator for the Hinds County Sheriff's Department.

People at Clinton Body Shop say they are getting a lot of trucks, particularly Ford F-250's, where a screwdriver has been used to pop the lock on the passenger door.

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