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Rash of car break-ins in commercial parking lots
The silver sedan car, driven by the suspect who broke into another car in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel, is seen on this security camera image.

Conyers police have seen a bump in car break-ins in retail and restaurant parking lots in recent weeks.

Police have seen at least 20 break-ins since the beginning of the year, with about 15 taking place in the commercial corridors of Conyers, such as near restaurants, the movie theater and retail stores, during midday and busy times. In those break-ins, the suspects punch a hole in the door or break the lock mechanism with a tool.

According to CPD Crime Analyst Kim Lucas, it appears the thieves are targeting Ford trucks and SUV models from 2001-2007.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, around 12:12 p.m., a suspect driving a silver sedan vehicle, possibly a BMW, pulled up next to a white Ford Expedition SUV in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel. The suspects punched a hole in the lock and took items from inside the car.

On Jan. 19, around 5:36 p.m., it appeared the same suspect came back to the Cracker Barrel parking lot and punched a hole in the door of the victim's Cadillac Escalade, taking items inside.

Officers are advising residents not to leave valuables or bags in plain sight in a car or have any valuables left in the car.

Anyone with more information about these break-ins is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Atlanta hotline at 404-577-TIPS (8477)

In Rockdale County, deputy sheriff's reported one similar break in at Golden Corral on Ga. Highway 138 Jan. 20.

Last week, at least 46 car break-ins were reported in Covington, but the method was different than what officers in Conyers are seeing.

The break-ins at Covington were of vehicles that were unlocked in residential areas. Those break ins occurred between Friday, Jan. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 19, at homes on Pinecrest Drive, King Street, Town Branch Court, Dorchester Drive, Brookhaven Drive and several other streets.

Items reportedly stolen from vehicles during the weekend included cash, checkbooks, electronics, sunglasses and car owner's manuals. However, in some cases, victims reported their cars were only rummaged through and nothing was missing.

According to reports, several items were found just houses away from where they were stolen.