Hole Under Lock Car Break-ins-Truth!

Hole Under Lock Car Break-ins-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
A viral email recounts how burglars used a hole-punch and a hammer to break into the unidentified author’s car by making a small hole under the door handle.

The Truth:
It’s become fairly common for burglars to break into cars using a hole-punch to make a hole under the door lock.

One of the first reports surfaced in 1999 when former Santa Fe Mayor Larry Delgado’s car was broken into using a hole-punch. The Albuquerque Journal reports that a purse belonging to Delgado’s wife was stolen from the car.

Another high-profile case involved R&B star Usher in January 2010. Access Atlanta reports that the singer lost more than $1 million in jewelry, clothes and electronics after burglars punched a hole near his SUV’s door handle.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office even issued a warning to residents that hole-punch car break-ins were on the rise near Natchez, Mississippi, in January 2013.

“The latest M.O. is to punch out the door locks just below the key pad with tools — a hole-punch used by metal workers and a hammer — usually on the passenger side of the car so that you don’t notice it immediately,” Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said. “Also, to delay discovery, they are not taking the whole purse or wallet — just cash or credit cards, maybe a gun that you keep under the seat or valuables in the glove box. So again, you don’t notice right away and they have plenty of time to flee the scene.”

Sheriff Mayfield’s account mirrors the accusations outlined in the eRumor: the passenger side door was broken into and select items were stolen to conceal the crime. Even though authorship of the eRumor can’t be verified, its claims are true.

Posted 09/24/14