ATLANTA -- Atlanta police are investigating a series of car break-ins at one apartment complex early Friday morning.
It happened at the Auburn Glenn apartments on Boulevard. Atlanta police spokesman Officer John Chafee said 20 cars were hit; windows were smashed, door locks broken and in some cases, items were stolen from inside. Police believe the thieves struck between midnight and 6am Friday.
"We had a large number of vehicles broken into, but not a large number of items taken," Chafee said. "And the items that were taken did not appear to be of high value."
That's what make these break-ins different from others, Chafee said. Auto break-ins are one of the city's highest reported crimes, but they are usually crimes of opportunity, he said.
The Wilbert Group PR firm which represents the Auburn Glenn apartment community made the following statement:
The security of our residents at Auburn Glenn and of their personal property is of the utmost importance to us, and we are doing everything we can to aid the authorities in their investigation of this incident. As we work to help the police find the person responsible, we will also work with our internal Loss Prevention Officers to evaluate ways to strengthen the security of our community.
Resident Tariq Karim told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander he thought he did everything right: his doors were locked and he had no valuables in his car. But Friday morning, he arrived at his car to find the driver's side window smashed.
"When I came, the center console was up. Everything was out on the seat," he said. Karim said nothing was missing from his car.
Karim and other residents pointed to lax security in the building; they said even though the parking deck is gated, it's easy for anyone to come inside. Building managers did not respond to 11Alive's calls seeking comment.
Police have little information about possible suspects. One witness told investigators she saw several men entering cars around 12:30am, while another said she saw five suspects looking into cars at approximately 5:30am.
Chafee said no one called police until the next morning, when car owners discovered the damage.