Western Branch area seeing uptick in car thefts, break-ins


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Residents of the Western Branch area of Portsmouth and Chesapeake say the past two weeks there’s been a significant uptick in stolen cars and car break-ins. 

Ashlee Hale says their car was stolen from the driveway on Wednesday. Her husband made the unsettling discovery when he tried to leave for work early that morning. 

“He left at 5:30 and came back in freaking out, ‘I don’t know what happened to my car. Someone took my car.'”

Their 2016 black Toyota Camry was gone. The Hales immediately called police and filed a report. 

Next Ashlee took to social media to warn her neighbors. While scrolling through the Neighbors by Ring app, she came across post after post from others in the Western Branch area. They were posting similar warnings and sharing surveillance video.

Most of the videos posted show what appears to be a group of young kids trying to get into unlocked cars in the middle of the night. The posts are all from the past two weeks. In one of the videos Ashlee believes she briefly sees the group driving off in their stolen black Camry in the corner of the frame. 

“It’s horrible. You know you do so much. You try hard and you work hard and you feel like you’re giving back,” said Ashlee. “And for someone to just come and take what you worked so hard for it just really hurts. “

10 On Your Side spoke with another woman, Kirsten, who says her truck was stolen twice in the past two weeks.

First on August 1, and found later the same day. Then she says her truck was stolen again three days later.  

Police recovered it yesterday. Kirsten says the interior of the car was a mess of cigarettes, trash, a number of purses that didn’t belong to her and other random items. 

Both Kirsten and Ashlee want people in the community to beware and alert police if they see anything suspicious. 

We reached out to Chesapeake police for more information on the thefts. They told us they can’t provide any information on the matter at this time. 

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