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Maryland couple's car doors stolen overnight

Similar theft happened in April, one mile away
Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 10, 2017

The thieves didn't just unlock the doors, they took them. That’s what a Patterson Park, Maryland couple discovered when they looked out their window and saw their car Sunday morning.

"It was almost laughable. Like who in the world would do this and I thought well, some body shop needed two doors for a Toyota," said Ann Carmody, the owner of the 2014 Toyota Camry.

The robbery happened sometime overnight Saturday on the corner of N. Milton Avenue and East Baltimore Street.

Carmody said she believes her car was targeted by professionals who knew exactly where to find her car, in the handicap spot reserved for her family.

"There's not a scratch on the car, not a mark anywhere, none of the hinges the door attaches to are bent, I mean they knew what they were doing," said Carmody. 

She also said nothing else was taken from her vehicle.

In her nearly 40 years living near Patterson Park, Carmody hasn't heard of this kind of robbery, but it's happened before, this year and less than a mile away.

RELATED: Thieves steal car doors in a matter of minutes; nothing else taken from vehicle

In April, Michelle Durham had the same thing happen to her 2008 Honda Accord. Video from a security camera showed two people taking her two doors within minutes.

"My child seat, the car seat, everything was in there," said Michelle Durham. "No radio was stolen, no engine parts, everything was in the car in tact just two doors were taken off of the car."

When Baltimore-based WMAR talked to Tom Reich, a special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, he said these are what's called ordered thefts by unscrupulous body shops.

"They're looking for a specific car with a specific color. They come in the middle of the night they find both right here close, they grab them and they're off and you're talking maybe 5 minutes of work to get both doors off the car," said Reich.

The theft is enough to make someone become unhinged, instead Carmody has managed to see the positive.

"It amazed me. This happening introduced me to all these neighbors that I had said hi to but never really knew and now I'm close to a lot of neighbors, so a lot of good came out of it," said Carmody.

Her neighbors helped clean up the glass and offered to give her and her husband rides. They even created a GoFundMe to raise money for security cameras.

Unlike Durham's case, Carmody hasn't found any surveillance video of the theft.

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While there are some things you can do to prevent theft, there isn't too much you can do to prevent this specific kind of crime. Reich recommends always locking your doors, parking in well-lit areas, have a working alarm, use wheel or brake locks, install a vehicle immobilizer like a kill switch, fuse cut-off, or fuel disabler, maybe even install a tracking system. 

For more tips on preventing auto theft, click here