What's Up With That!? Trussville dealing with string of car break-ins

Thieves are breaking into vehicles in Trussville, especially ones that have valuables out in the open. (

A recent rash of burglaries and car break ins in northern Jefferson County has neighborhoods on edge.

In Trussville, alone nearly 40 car break ins have been reported since first of the year. The police chief tells me his department has made 20 arrests.

One of the arrests is believed to be connected to a much larger case involving a number of law agencies, including the U.S. Marshals.{}

One suspect arrested late last week by Marshals allegedly belongs to a car burglary ring that has hit several areas, including Trussville.

Chief Don Sivley says this wave of car break-ins and burglaries is the work of two "gangs of thieves."

"What will happen is, they will drop off a carload of three, four, five people in a neighborhood. Sometimes that car will stay in an area, sometimes they'll go somewhere else and keep a low profile and then pick them up later."Sivley explains just how these gangs operate. "They are going door to door, looking for vehicles that have valuables, where they can see valuables, and then break into those vehicles if the items are enticing enough."The majority of victims made it easy for the criminals by leaving their car unlocked. In fact, 80 percent of the reported thefts were in unlocked cars. "More often than not, they're looking for vehicles that are unlocked. They'll open them, grab whatever they may find in there and move onto the next one."But it is not just cars that are being targeted. "We have seen a slight increase in home burglaries in the last few months. We've made several arrests in those as well. More often than not, home burglaries have involved forced entry," says Sivley. Jefferson County deputies patrol the Clay community. The sheriff's office reports only one burglary for the month of March. However, Shannon Barnett, who lives in Clay claims she's been hit by burglars three times in the last year. "It's been a cluster in just a few months," she says.Barnett says prescription pills were taken from her home, along with some valuables. That's has made her more vigilant. "I watch who comes in (the neighborhood), and I basically know everyone who lives here. But you, know, suspicious people who drive around and just stare. That's not right."Sivley agrees being vigilant is one of the best ways to to help catch those looking to steal. His office is doing all it can to protect the public. "As far as Trussville is concerned, we're increasing patrols and sharing information with other agencies and departments in trying to combat this," says Sivley.Sivley also has a warning to the thieves."You got a lot of really good agencies in Jefferson County and St. Clair County and all in this area. We're all working together. So eventually, you're going to get caught.