Recent Uptick in Vehicle Burglaries in Murphy
Murphy Police Chief Cotten said, “Do not leave purses, wallets, money, credit cards or other valuable items inside your vehicle.”
Since the beginning of August 2018, there have been eight BMVs (Burglary of Motor Vehicles) in Murphy. Between May and July, there were six BMVs and last year there were a total of 19. Murphy Detective Angela Hughes is the lead detective in these recent BMV cases.
Murphy Crossing Dental Care on E. FM 544 was the site of a BMV on Sept. 10 around 7:00 p.m. A purse, wallet, phone, credit cards, debit card, driver’s license and makeup are listed as stolen property.
Three of the BMVs occurred at Orangetheory Fitness on Sept. 11 around 9:00 a.m. Hughes said in each of these incidents a window was broken to gain access. Purses (valued from $150 - $3,000), two phones (valued at $500 each) and credit cards were stolen from each vehicle.
One BMV occurred at 24 Hour Fitness. Hughes said a credit card stolen from the vehicle was used at Walmart in Murphy and other locations. At this time, MPD is not positive if the person who used the stolen card is the same person who stole the cardduring the BMV. The person who used the stolen card is described as a male in his mid-20s with a lengthy criminal history.
One of the BMVs, which occurred Sept. 13 at 3:00 p.m. is also considered a bank jugging incident. (Bank jugging is when a suspect sits in a bank parking lot watching customers come and go from the bank. The suspect follows the bank customer if they believe they are in possession of cash. They then look for an opportunity to burglarize the vehicle or rob the person directly.)In this incident, the suspect followed the victim from the Bank of America in Murphy to the Walmart in Murphy. The victim brought their money into Walmart. The suspect broke the window of the victim’s vehicle. Nothing was stolen. Murphy Police Chief Cotten said, “Several arrests have been made all over the state of Texas in jugging offenses and we are working hand in hand with the FBI/DEA to get the highest charges imposed. “ Hughes said arrests have been made for jugging incidents that occurred in Murphy.
A vehicle on Skyline Acres was burglarized on Sept. 13 at 2:00 p.m. A purse ($200 value), credit card, $200 cash, checks and driver’s license were stolen.
A vehicle on Mallard Trail was burglarized on Sept. 15 at 10:00 a.m. A gun, Glock 23c ($675 value) was stolen.
Regarding consistencies between the BMV incidents, Chief Cotten said, “These types of car burglaries are consistent with what other cities are seeing across the metroplex. Some thieves steal the person’s identity and then try to cash other victim’s stolen checks/get money from the bank pretending to be one of the other victims by using the stolen driver’s license.”
Cotten advises, “Do not leave purses, wallets, money, credit cards or other valuable items inside your vehicle. Make sure to have a list of identifying information on your property such as serial numbers, make and models of items, item descriptions and pictures of items just in case they are stolen. Have a list of phone numbers for the banking centers and credit card companies that you use so you can contact them immediately if needed.” He adds, “Try to always be prepared and if a car burglary does occur, try to have a plan to quickly cancel credit cards and freeze bank accounts until you can get to a banking center. Limit the amount of important items that are kept inside your car and your purse. If you get money from your bank, never, never, never leave it in the vehicle to run in and get something at a store. Lock your car doors when you are getting gas. This will prevent someone from getting into your car while you’re distracted.”
Walmart surveillance cameras have provided MPD with good pictures and license plates of suspects who have used victims’ stolen credit cards.
At the time of publication, these BMV cases are active investigations.
Update: As of October 10, 2018, there is nothing new to report on these incidents.