More than 40 cars were broken into over the weekend in Box Elder

CAR THEFT(Aleah Burggraff)
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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BOX ELDER, S.D. (KOTA) - Mare than 40 cars were broken into over the weekend in the Antelope Ridge subdivision of Box Elder. That’s according to the 4 juveniles arrested by the Box Elder Police Department in relation to the crime.

Through a series of photographs and videos posted to Facebook, the community was able to provide numerous tips to law enforcement to help locate and capture the juveniles.

But how were more than 40 cars targeted?

“A majority of the cars, about 90% of them or more actually, were unlocked. So, easy access. All that they have to do is check the door handle pretty much to see if the car was locked or not locked,” said Officer Carter Smith of the Box Elder Police Department.

Smith said it’s unfortunate, but a lot of people in the area continue to leave their cars unlocked and in poorly lit places paving the perfect path for these crimes of opportunity.

“We have a lot of people, especially being in South Dakota, people coming in from rural parts of South Dakota, or even all over the country, they come in and they’re so used to not locking their car and when they move into here, unfortunately, we have people who have bad intentions and they want easy access to items that they don’t want to go out and purchase themselves,” said Smith.

One of the items stolen? A loaded handgun, which then becomes a danger for the entire community.

“Ultimately, we always suggest that you keep your handguns in a safe or they provide good locks for handguns for child safety inside houses. We have them at our department, I know Rapid City and Pennington County Sheriff’s Department also provide those gun locks. So, you can bring it inside your house and put that gun lock and it’s mainly for children, but also for the crime of opportunity to prevent people from stealing guns,” said Smith.

The 4 juveniles’ pending charges include 2 Class 6 felonies charges for grand theft-firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.

Class 6 felonies carry a maximum sentence of 2 years in the state penitentiary and or a $4,000 fine.

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