, Port Arthur, Texas

July 15, 2013

Arrest made in series of vehicle burglaries

The Port Arthur News

— A suspect in a series of vehicle burglaries in Groves is now behind bars.

Port Arthur Police arrested the 18-year-old male suspect on outstanding warrants and recovered a stolen firearm from Groves on Sunday.

Investigators in Groves later traveled to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and interviewed the man who made a statement about a series of vehicle burglaries, Groves Police Lt. Kirk Rice said.

The suspect, identified as Jessie Khuyt Phan, was booked into the jail on theft of a firearm and his bond has been set at $20,000. The series of incidents remains under investigation and additional charges are pending.

Police are investigating an incident in which someone entered as many as 20 unlocked vehicles and took items such as guns, stereo equipment and GPS units. Police believe someone parked their car on the side of the road and traveled on foot searching for unlocked vehicles with anything of value.

The Groves Police Department reminds residents that auto-burglaries are “crimes of opportunity;” that could have been avoided by locking car doors and removing everything of value from plain sight. If you leave valuable items visible in your car, your car is automatically a target, Rice said in a press release.

It takes less than 30 seconds to enter into an unlocked car and grab what is in plain view. Like all crime prevention, it involves limiting the criminal's ability and/or opportunity to commit the crime.

Leave nothing in plain sight that might make your vehicle worth investigating by a thief; not even loose coins or a CD.

Set car alarms if your car is equipped with one. Many people believe that car-alarms no longer make a difference, but they can be an effective deterrent to an auto-burglar, who most often chooses the easiest target.

“Officers cannot be everywhere at once, and we count on residents to be our eyes and ears and immediately report suspicious activities to the police department,” the press release stated.