Police: Don’t touch your car after a break-in

Carlisle/West Shore

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Hampden Township police are investigating after a spree of car break-ins. They say you should not touch anything if your car is broken into, including door handles, the steering wheel, and the middle console.

“The most common places they touch are also the most common places criminals tend to touch,” Lt. Richard Nulty said.

He recommends calling 911 immediately so investigators can collect forensic evidence through DNA and fingerprints unimpeded.

“If they touch the same surface, they can contaminate,” Nulty said.

“I might have to change my lighting and then before I lift the print with fingerprint powder and dust, I should photograph it,” said Trisha McClain-Myers, forensic civilian support staff.

Police went through that process when they had a half-dozen cars broken into and two vehicles stolen Monday night.

“We add about two drops of water and then what we do is press pretty firmly and just swap in an “s” zig-zag shape,” McClain-Myers said.

The crimes occurred in the Dartmouth Green, Hampden Hearth, and Hampden Summit neighborhoods.

“It’s likely that they’re all connected,” Nulty said.

“We mark the time of collection,” McClain Myers said.

Police have a suspect in custody and expect to make additional arrests soon. They say securing evidence is key in proving a case and will send the DNA kits to Cumberland County Forensics Lab to figure who’s responsible.

Police are reminding the community to not let your car be a target.

“Generally, it’s an unlocked vehicle,” Nulty said. “People leave their purses or their items in plain view.”

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