Police Investigating 'Smash and Grab Thefts' in Central Virginia

Lynchburg, VA- A series of smash and grab thefts have been taking place in our area leaving the victims with broken car windows, and in some cases, without thousands of hard-earned dollars.

These crimes have been occurring around parks, tennis courts, jogging trails, and gyms--all places you normally would not take your purse or wallet, so you might leave it in the car.

Mary Lumsden is an alterations specialist at Sew Right in Roanoke. In her spare time, she loves to jog.

A few weeks ago, after a run, she came back to find her windshield knocked out and her purse gone.

"Since this has happened to me, I've found out there are a lot of other people who have had their purses stolen too," said Lumsden.

Natalie Trost jogs and plays tennis at Peaks View Park in Lynchburg. She came back to her car to find her window broken and her purse missing as well.

"It's your worst fear, actually you really have to pinch yourself to believe that this really happened to you," said Trost.

According to Stuart Bowen of the Lynchburg Police Department, in the past month, there have been 12 instances of items being taken from cars in Lynchburg.

"Lock it in your trunk somewhere secure, makes it harder to get to and out of sight kinda keeps people from wandering eyes and hands from seeing something they might want to steal out of your vehicle," advises Bowen.