CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Authorities say three men broke into cars earlier this month in Winfield and are asking for help identifying the culprits.
Officers had been inundated with calls of reported vehicle break-ins and thefts from vehicles parked in driveways or on private streets, Winfield Police Chief John Perrine said.
"It appears that many of the vehicle owners became victims because they felt comfortable enough in their residential surroundings to leave their vehicle unsecured in their driveways," Perrine said in a news release.
Two residents in the 700 block of Winfield Avenue and one resident from Joshua Way awoke the morning of Feb. 4 to find their vehicles had been tampered with. The scenario was similar on the mornings of Feb. 5 and Feb. 7 when residents along Cash Lane, Riverdale Estates and West End Estates reported items stolen from their cars that were parked in their driveways.
The preliminary investigation showed the thefts took place between 11:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., Perrine said.
"In eight of the incidents there were no signs of forced entry into the vehicles," he said. "In all cases the vehicle owners determine someone had entered their vehicle and rifled through the contents located in the passenger compartment."
Eight of the nine owners affected reported thefts. Some of the stolen items included an iPhone, iPod, a woman's purse containing credit cards and cash, a stereo, work boots and loose coins.