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Thefts in Columbia this year on pace to match 2022 total, CPD says


Within the past month, the Columbia Police Department has shown several thefts on its social media pages, asking for the public's help in identifying the people responsible.

CPD detective Brandon Baden said a number of the social media posts refer to people stealing from cars.

"If you leave like your wallet in the, in your car people are taking that... taking your wallet, your credit cards, debit cards and going to bigger stores like Walmart and getting like pre-paid Visas and putting big amounts (of money) on there," Baden said.

These thefts, along with others, are putting Columbia on track to match the 2,492 thefts that occurred in the area last year. According to a presentation held by the police department June 29, there have been 680 reported thefts in 2023 so far.

A spokesperson for the police department, Christian Tabak said the department expects a spike to occur around September or October, as that is what has happened in past years. An indication as to why this happens is still being investigated.

CPD's Facebook page shows thefts happening in a Walmart, Best Buy and Academy Sports.

Baden said it's hard for police to find the people responsible for the thefts, despite these stores having surveillance cameras because people wear masks.

"The best case scenario is if they touch something in your car, and we're able to get some sort of finger-print off of it, that's usually our best lead," Baden said.

Despite surveillance footage not always being helpful, Baden said stores should still have cameras present, and not attempt to approach the people stealing.

"You know obviously we don't want people getting injured if they try to, you know intervene with these people," Baden said. "So definitely good camera footage, working with us so that we're able to catch the people."

According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you suspect your credit card has been stolen, you should immediately contact your bank or credit union to report it. It also notes that you will not be charged for any charges made while it was stolen.

Check back for updates to this story.

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Nia Hinson


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