A large number of vehicles and even the municipal transfer station have been targeted by thieves recently in Rutland Town.
Vermont State Police and local law enforcement have issued multiple warnings in the last week about car break-ins on Town Line Road, Park Lane and Post Road Extension in Rutland Town.
Police also reported that similar break-ins were reported on Cedar Lane in Mendon.
Monday, police reported the latest break-in — the office at the Rutland Town Transfer Station where someone damaged a door and a window to break in. State police said the burglary occurred at some point between Saturday afternoon and early Wednesday morning.
Police said they recovered evidence at the scene.
Transfer station manager Tony Flory said the thieves did a lot of damage — including about $500 worth of damage to the door and window — but found little of value inside.
“They ransacked the whole place but there wasn’t much for them to take,” Flory said.
Checks made out to the town for about $600 were taken, Flory said, but he and other town officials said the checks could not be cashed since they were already made out to the town.
“I’m thinking whoever is doing this is looking for drug money and not thinking straight,” said Stan Rhodes, chairman of the Rutland Town Select Board.
Break-ins aren’t new at the transfer station or at the municipal pool next to it in Northwood Park.
Flory said there were four break-ins at the transfer station last year while a break-in at the school last spring resulted in the theft of about 15 checks, Rhodes said.
The town installed surveillance cameras around the pool area this fall to deter further break-ins, Rhodes said.
For residents living in the Post Road Extension and Town Line Road areas, Rutland Town Police Chief Edward Dumas said the best way to deter thieves from breaking into vehicles is to take away any incentive to break into a car.
“Don’t leave anything of value in your car. It’s like a calling card to thieves,” he said. “For people in the town, it’s not something they see as much as people in the city. They’re not used to having their cars broken into.”
And Dumas said all sorts of items could have value. In one case, he said, a pair of sweaters that a man bought for his wife were stolen and returned to the store where he bought them so the thief could claim a refund.
Asked if police believed that the break-ins were being carried out by the same person or people, Dumas said that was still unclear.
Anyone with information about the break-ins can call Dumas or the state police at 773-9101.
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