Gone in 90 minutes.
That's how long police said it took for a band of thieves in Buckhead to bypass several layers of security, unnoticed to break into more than two dozen cars. The suspects made off with thousands in electronics and personal financial information.
It happened in the area of Piedmont Road, Adina Drive and Cosmopolitan Drive. According to residents near there, there hadn't been any break-ins since February. But that all changed Tuesday night when Sgt. Warren Pickard with the Atlanta Police Department said 25 vehicles were broken into. On Wednesday, several vehicles still stood with shards of glass lingering in the windows.
Both residents and police said they're surprised at how bold and swift the crooks were -- cameras, a gate, apartment security and police patrols weren't enough to deter the thieves from hitting car after car. APD said the bandits made off with a host of goods, everything from electronics like laptops and TVs, to cash, checkbooks, social security cards and even a Glock.
"I do hope security tightens up," said one resident. "I will have my eye open for that."
Security expert DeShawn Howard from Drops Mobile Electronics said this type of crime is becoming an all-too-familiar scene.
While Howard said opening a car's trunk or door will trip the alarm, smashing out the windows won't.
"People will smash the windows out and grab the stuff out of the car, and they're going to run or even just go to the next car and keep going," Howard told 11Alive's La'Tasha Givens.
Meanwhile, Pickard said this incident is a reminder that residents should follow the clean car campaign: "Leave your car the way you purchased it," he said. "If there's nothing in your car, then nothing can be taken."
And if you must leave items inside your car, don't leave them in plain view.
Investigators were able to lift fingerprints from some of the vehicle, but they're asking anyone with information on the break-ins to call police.
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