If you believe what you see on social media, there was a veritable crime wave in Shadyside last weekend.
People posted on Facebook that their cars were entered and their belongings were stolen.
Reportedly in one case, a woman’s grandfather’s ashes were taken.
There’s only one problem in solving these cases.
Nobody ever told the police.
Shadyside Police say nobody called 911, nobody walked in and filed a report, nobody flagged them down on their rounds.
And now it’s been five days.
Yet on Facebook, it was said to be quite a crime wave, with car alarms blaring.
“There could have been potentially 15 to 20 vehicles entered, according to some of the posts,” said Jeff Loeffler, assistant police chief.
From what he has read, it appears the thieves were walking along, trying door handles, and any that were unlocked were entered.
He says receiving reports from the victims is vital.
They give police information about times, places and circumstances that allow them to build a case and possibly arrest a suspect.
And he urges people to report a car break-in, even if nothing was stolen.
“If you can tell they looked through your glove compartment even if you didn’t have anything stolen, please still report it to us,” Loeffler said. “That information is definitely necessary.”
Several people on the street in Shadyside weighed in on the issue.
Evan Meadows said if it was his car, he’d file a report.
“I would call them if someone broke into my car,” Meadows said. “Instead of posting it on Facebook. Because you know people on Facebook are not going to be able to do anything about it.”
Colton Adams of Shadyside agreed, saying people on Facebook can’t help you solve the crime, but the police can.
“I think it’s a shame that we’re paying more attention to our technology than to what’s happening in front of us now,” noted Mecca Collins of Wheeling.
Assistant Chief Loeffler urges people to lock their vehicles.
And if they’ve been robbed, report it.
He says Facebook is a great tool to share information, and to warn people about dangers.
Bue he says that’s the second thing they should do.
The first should be to call 911.