Several car break-ins reported in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) --- As the temperature has climbed recently, so has the crime of a certain kind in a pocket of South Main Street in South Bend.

Surveillance video obtained from Dave's Garage auto shop shows a man smashing a van window and going inside the vehicle between 11:15 and 11:25 p.m. on July 11. This incident marked the fifth car break-in in four weeks for the business, which previously had just three car break-ins over the past 20 years.

Just down the street, Mark's Autocare Center discovered the window of a customer's car smashed when employees arrived at the business July 12.

Owner Andrew Liszewski said the incident could have happened late Thursday night. Customers are able to drop off their cars the night before their vehicles are scheduled for repairs.

"This summer has been pretty bad. I would say that we have one or two [car break-ins] a month, probably, at least," Liszewski stated.

Liszewski said whoever is breaking into cars isn't looking to steal the automobile but whatever is left on seats or in the center console and glove box.

South Bend police call these incidents "crimes of opportunity."

"Coins means money, which means they can go buy things with it, whether it's at a store or, potentially, unfortunately, drugs," said Ken Garcia, spokesman for the South Bend Police Department.

Another business on South Main Street that experienced a similar vehicle crime said it has considered moving to a new location, possibly outside of the city -- something to which Andrew Liszewski at Mark's Autocare can relate.

"It's hard for me to want to keep a business on this corridor when I can't operate without having problems on a regular basis," he said.

South Bend police added larcenies aren't just happening on South Main Street; they can happen anywhere where potential criminals can peer through car windows in places such as parking lots, neighborhoods or where they will pull on doors to see if cars are unlocked.