NOLANVILLE — After a string of car burglaries ravaged Bell and Coryell counties, Nolanville Police Chief Gary Kent decided to team with Belton Independent School District to help educate area residents.

Last week, students and Kent, who also is a Copperas Cove councilman, made a short public service video that reminds residents to “Hide” and “Take” their belongings before they “Lock” their cars before leaving.

“It’s a ring — an organized crime ring hitting all the areas,” Kent said, referring to the car burglaries.

Car burglaries hit all of Bell County and some of Coryell County as well, according to area police reports.

Thieves have broken into unlocked cars parked on the side of the road and taken phones, car chargers, purses, weapons and even a bowling ball.

Thirteen cars were hit in Copperas Cove during a single day in April, and nearby resident Joe Merryfield was shocked the thieves hit such a quiet neighborhood.

“I think they were just going driveway to driveway checking the doors,” Merryfield said.

Nolanville has seen about eight car burglaries since January, Kent said. With most of those burglaries, the cars were unlocked, giving thieves an easy target.

“A couple things I echo to people on their remotes,” Kent said, referring to car and garage remote controls. “‘One, two, three, four, five’ is not a code ...”

Kent said little things like hiding or taking belongings out of the car, locking the doors and changing remote codes can discourage thieves.

“Some of the victims said they’re OK with leaving their doors unlocked because that’ll make a person not break their window,” he said.

That sort of attitude, however, could possibly escalate the situation. Thieves could go through neighborhoods, pressing a garage door remote to see which one opens, and then gaining access to homes. That’s why people need to take precautions, Kent said.

Contact Courtney Griffin at cgriffin@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7559

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