'Bunch of hoodlums' target cars in east side neighborhood

Marcelino Benito

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

'Bunch of hoodlums' target cars in east side neighborhood

CREATED Sep. 11, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In Rita Ranch, crooks are targeting cars.

"They come in, toss cars to grab whatever they can and take off," said one neighbor, who didn't want to be identified.

And it's not once or twice. Try a dozen times for one man alone. Thieves hit three of his cars. They made off with the fourth in June. He says it turned up three days later in Nogales. And now the bandits are at it again.

"This was the most recent one," said the man.

The scratches and scrape marks inside the door are still visible. And you can see where the cops dusted for prints. This time whoever broke in took a handgun from a compartment on the driver's door.

"We're becoming victims of a bunch of hoodlums running around the neighborhood," said the man.

But in a lot of these cases, car alarms aren't even going off. Neighbors are leaving their doors unlocked and that is making an already easy crime, that much easier.

9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito logged onto Crime Reports to take a closer look at the problem south of Rita, north of Old Vail and west of Houghton. Since June, four car thefts and 19 car break-ins. It's why this neighbor has installed security cameras.

"There has been a spike," he said.

But TPD says they don't consider it a spike or a spree. They say there are simple ways to protect  yourself. Locking your car is a good start.

"Whether you look your door or leave it unlocked, they're going to do what they want to do," said the man.

Tucson Police say they do not believe these cases are connected and have no suspect descriptions to work with. If you have been a victim or have any information that can help police, call 911 or 88-crime.