Numerous cars have been broken into in the Reykjavík metropolitan area in recent months, according to RÚV. Most break-ins have occurred in the Hlíðar neighborhood and in the western part of Reykjavík. They come in waves, and in the past couple of weeks, between 15 and 20 car break-ins have been reported. Locking your car does not deter the robbers.
Last year, police arrested a man responsible for more than 60 such break-ins. He, however, can’t be blamed for the recent ones, since he remains locked up in prison.
“The method is always the same,” stated Superintendent Jóhann Karl Þórisson. “The tiny [side] window in the back is broken, and then they go in and start rummaging. It’s not enough not to have any valuables in sight. They still go in and explore and rummage in the glove compartment.”
A few people have been questioned in connection with the break-ins, but no one has confessed. The robbers appear to covet a variety of valuables: GPSes, chargers, cash, sunglasses, fuel cards, laundry cards, and even tickets for tire storage or even for clothes left at the dry cleaner’s.
“Anything of value they can use,” Jóhann remarked. “So, I don’t know whether we should advise people to leave the glove compartment open and empty to show there is nothing in the car. Then we’ve had two to three instances where the dashboards have been removed from expensive cars. That’s unique, and those most likely leave the country.”
Typically, the robbers use the money to pay for their own drugs or debt, Jóhann added. Luckily, the bright summer nights will make their job tougher, though. He encourages more neighborhood watches, and the importance of calling the emergency line 112, should you witness a break-in. By all means, do not confront or try to stop the robbers, he advises, but try to write down their license plate number before they drive off.