Rash of vehicle break-ins, thefts throughout area overnight

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Local law enforcement agencies are investigating several reports of unlocked vehicles entered and at least three vehicles stolen overnight.

Columbia police said a black Chevrolet Traverse with Illinois license plates K628573 was stolen from a driveway in the 1400 block of North Evergreen Lane early Thursday morning. The vehicle was unlocked with its keys inside at the time it was stolen, police said.

About 5 a.m. Thursday, Columbia police received a report of a suspicious vehicle driving without headlights in the area of Bottom Avenue and Hillcrest Drive. A responding officer located this vehicle, which turned out to be the stolen Traverse, on Bottom Avenue and pursued briefly north on Route 3 but terminated near I-255 due to high speeds.

So far, Columbia police report that in addition to the stolen vehicle on Evergreen Lane, two unlocked vehicles were entered in that area and another three vehicles were entered in the 800-900 blocks of Hillcrest Drive.

Dupo police said a Kia was stolen from the 300 block of State Street and a 2018 GMC was stolen from the 100 block of North Third Street overnight. Both vehicles were unlocked with the keys inside at the time of the thefts, police said.

“We are working some leads and working with Columbia police,” Dupo Police Chief Kevin Smith said. “We have no reports of any other vehicles entered.”

Waterloo police reported vehicle break-ins overnight.

A brick was thrown through a vehicle window to commit a theft in the 100 block of North Main Street, police said. The remaining incidents involved unlocked vehicles entered in the 400 block of Columbia Avenue and 300-400 blocks of Grand Avenue.

Purses, wallets, key fobs and loose coins were among the items stolen from cars in Waterloo.

Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to contact their local police department.

The Columbia, Dupo and Waterloo police chiefs strongly urged residents to lock their vehicle doors at all times and to remove all valuables or at least keep them out of plain sight.

Just last week, two unlocked vehicles were stolen and several more were entered in Columbia. Warrants have been issued for three men in connection with those crimes, police said, with at least one of them apprehended in St. Louis.

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