Prince George's County apartment complex residents report series of car break-ins

Over a dozen cars in the Barclay Square apartment complex in Prince George’s County were broken into overnight Wednesday, and police are now investigating who was behind it.

At this point, police don’t have an exact number of cars broken into, but neighbors of the complex, located in the 3500 block of Powder Mill Road in Beltsville, estimated about 20.

FOX 5 was able to see vehicles with tarp over their drivers side windows, and other empty parking spaces with shattered glass next to where vehicles would be parked.

"I woke up like a regular day, got ready for work, made my coffee. And off I went to work. As soon as I came out, and I approached my car, I noticed the window missing, and as I got closer, I realized the airbag was missing," one neighbor told FOX 5.

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Prince George’s County police confirm airbags appear to have been what whoever broke into the vehicles was after.

FOX 5 wanted to give some context here: Why is this happening? 

Laura Garcia heads the Automotive program at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria campus.

She says there’s a parts shortage and there’s an illicit market for airbags.

"The airbag is fairly easy to remove. And they may even cut and slice parts of your steering wheel and steering column in order to get your airbag out, which can cause further damage and lead to further expense," Garcia said.

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Prince George’s County Police confirmed there was a similar incident at an apartment complex nearby a week and a half ago.

"It’s kind of sad, or overwhelming almost, to know that it’s happening here. When it was just happening, because that issue is happening in the area, I feel like there should have been more vigilance, or more awareness brought to the issue, so that these occurrences aren’t happening regularly," the neighbor told FOX 5.

As of this writing, FOX 5 has reached out to Barclay Square for a statement, but haven’t heard back.

They’re encouraging anti-theft devices; the old-school club, for example, to help deter those stealing airbags.

Anyone with any information on these thefts are encouraged to reach out to police.