Thief Targets Dozens Of Vehicle Batteries Worth $10 Each


UPDATED: Monday December 3, 2012 6:22 PM

Police in Chillicothe are trying to figure out what is the motivation behind stealing batteries that only have a resale value of around $10.

Authorities said there have been almost 20 reports of car batteries stolen in the area since September.

Shawn Santo said there’s no way to lock his old truck, and the thief was gone in minutes with his battery.

“When they ripped it out, they took the connector there,” said Santo “It's aggravating. It's just silly, a waste of our time."

Now, Santo has to secure his truck door with a bike lock.

He is just one of more than a dozen victims.

Thieves have stolen batteries from personal vehicles, business trucks and even farm equipment.

Local police are warning residents.

“Theft is a crime of opportunity and the opportunity exists this time of year, but to have battery thefts around the holiday season, in my 17 years of law enforcement, it's a bit odd for me. So, it does kind of make you scratch your head and wonder what's going on,” said Officer Bud Lytle of the Chillicothe Police Department.

A local electric company was also a target.

A nearby witness called police when he saw someone taking batteries from a truck and stashing them into bushes. Police believe he planned to come back later and get them.

But by the time police arrived, the man was gone.

Victim Tonia Willis found a tool below where the battery area was located. She hoped that police could find fingerprints on it, but she said they never came out to check.

She is just glad the thief never got away with her batteries, and she's now taking precautions.

“Now we just take them inside until we can put a hasp on this and lock 'em up,” said Willis.

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