Police investigate car burglaries in Benton - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Police investigate car burglaries in Benton

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FRANKLIN CO.  -- A string of car burglaries has people in Benton on high alert.

"We leave lights on. The garage lights are always on at night. We keep interior lights on. We are very well lit and it didn't stop them at all," said Clinton Garmane.

Clinton Garmane lives in a quiet neighborhood in Benton. When he came out early Monday morning to head to the gym, he was shocked to find two of his families vehicles had been rummaged through.

"They had taken all the papers out of the glove box, out of the consoles, and thrown them about," said Garmane.

At first, Garmane thought the thieves had just dug through his family's belongings because the large amount of change was left untouched. But he soon realized something more valuable could be at risk.

"It wasn't until later in the day, I realized that the spare keys to the car I drive back and forth to work were in that car, so they did steal those," said Garmane.

Benton Police Chief Kyle Melvin, says the theft to Garmane's vehicles was just one of the many reported. He says when the weather warm ups, the number of car burglaries goes up too. That's why he encourages everyone to report suspicious activity to police.

"A lot of people will say I don't want to bother you with it,'' well, that could be the very call that helps us be able to solve this," said Chief Melvin. 

Garmane says he's been keeping an eye out, even while everyone is asleep."I just put that camera up to catch people coming up the driveway and we are going to get more, so we can see what goes on in the backyard as well," said Garmane. 

For peace of mind, he says he's double checking every night to make sure all the cars are locked. Police advise you do the same since the warm weather has arrived. 

Chief Melvin says the department is following several leads regarding the car break-ins. 

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