Runners Fall Victim to Car Break-Ins in Albemarle County

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September 7, 2009

Albemarle County Police say the car robberies are a growing problem. Thieves are vandalizing the cars and taking purses, GPS units, and more. Sources tell CBS19, in many instances, the break-ins happened in broad daylight.

One area that has been targeted is Garth Road and Ridge Road in Albemarle County, a popular place to run.

Mark Lorenzoni, a running coach in the area, says he's heard of at least six runners who have had their cars broken into on Ridge Road.

"It's unnerving," sayd Lorenzoni. "It causes you to get out of the mode of being relaxed, so to speak. You find yourself being more on-guard."

Louise Knudson is one of the victims of these break-ins. She parked her car on Ridge Road at ten in the morning a couple weeks ago. When she returned from an hour long run, her passenger window had been shattered, her purse was gone and her whole car was rummaged through. She said her car alarm had gone off and the thief most likely carried on because there were no houses close by.

Knudson tried calling local pawn shops to see if anyone sold a digital camera, similar to the one that was in her purse.

"They seem to think they can just break into someone's car in broad daylight and get away with it," said Knudson. "Even if there was something that deterred them for a while, they may target another area. But, I thought if there is something we can do to track them down then that could end it."

Police say other problematic areas in the county have been Beaver Creek Park, Sugar Hollow Reservoir and Lake Albemarle. Knudson says she wishes she had known ahead of time that this was a problem, and won't run in the area alone again. For their part, police say they are taking measures to prevent the break-ins and find out who is responsible.

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