Harrisburg, PA - City Police Garage B & E - Police Car Smashed Into Gate - Last Month Had Similar Police Car Stolen And Crashed

June 5, 2014

local21news.com

Right now police are looking for whoever left behind a mangled mess of glass and metal at the Harrisburg maintenance yard along Paxton Street. It's the second time there's been a break-in and stolen police car in the past month.

In fact, this is the second time in a month that this Harrisburg maintenance facility was broken into and city vehicles were either stolen or vandalized.

After the first incident in May, where three vehicles were stolen and found in different spots in the city, police added some chains and locks to the gates. Turns out, that wasn't enough and the vandal or vandals struck again doing thousands of dollars in damage.

"It's frustrating," said City Councilwoman Sandra Reid.

"The neighbors, we have to come together and do something," said neighbor Kevin Arkward.

A mashed up police car sits in Harrisburg City's maintenance facility. However, this was not the result of a call or chase rather a vandal going for a joyride inside the city's building.

"I don't think that there's a major public safety concern, right now. This seems like a joy riding situation," Reid said.

Some time early Sunday morning, a vandal broke into the old Brenner Dodge dealership off Paxton Street, stealing the keys for a police car and ramming it against a fence to try and break free. Unlike the first attempt in early May, the perp wasn't able to spring free of the gates

"To steal another person's car, I guess that cool in the neighborhood. But to steal a cop car, that just means you don't care," Arkward said.

Because the city took over the old car dealership in March, police have not been able to outfit the building with any type of security cameras or security reinforcements.

"It's a new facility. There are a lot of growing pains. We don't have the security system set up yet," Reid said.

This latest incident comes almost a month to the day after another vandal or vandals broke into the same lot and stole three city vehicles including a police car. All three were eventually found but the scenario is costing the city thousands of dollars.

"We are a public works facility. You are trying to get your job done. Our guys are out here doing their job the best they can and when they have to stop and deal with these break-ins, it sets them back hours," said Reid.

Between the three cars stolen in early May and now this incident over the weekend, Reid believes the break-ins are costing the city easily thousands or possibly tens of thousands of dollars in damage and man hours to figure out the problem.

At this point, police think the two cases are related. No arrests have been made. UPDATED: Police frustrated following multiple break-ins and police car thefts

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