Grand Theft Auto Spree Rocks Streets of Odessa

Grand Theft Auto Spree Rocks Streets of Odessa

Anum Valliani

NewsWest 9

ODESSA -  The streets of Odessa have been rocked by some thieves. Nearly a dozen cars were reported stolen Friday and no suspects have been identified.

"We had four right off the bat that were reported stolen, which is quite high considering normally we have average one or two per day," Odessa Police Department Public Information Officer, Corporal Steve LeSueur, said.

Each of the 11 stolen vehicles were scattered within a two to three mile radius between Grant and JBS Parkway and 8th and 42nd Streets.

Investigators said some of the thefts were because of spare keys being left in the car or doors being left unlocked, but they're unsure if the cars were then hotwired or something else.

Michael and Lisa Pena are among the victims. They say the culprits got lucky with them.

"He has a work truck and so I think they initially broke into his car, they took the spare keys and got into my vehicle," Lisa said.

Police have located a few of the vehicles, which wound up in different areas across town. One of the two stolen from the Pena's has been recovered but it came back wrecked in the back.

"They ran my VIN number and it had been in a hit and run accident about 4:30 or 5 a.m. this (Friday) morning and it was at the wrecker," Lisa said.

She said officials there told her the gold Suburban had been speeding in reverse and hitting parked cars until someone tried to chase down the people inside. There were also other tips.

"I had a neighbor that said he heard loud noises so he went outside and he said there was a group of kids in the alley and when he went back there, they all took off running," she said.

Now the Pena's are just trying to make sense of the situation. They're confused because all that was taken was an iPod.

"My makeup was thrown in the backseat, they took my makeup bag, the baby seats were unstrapped and thrown in the back, so obviously they had more passengers than the driver," she said.

Michael's wallet was also found in the neighbor's yard intact and full of all their credit cards. All that was missing was the cash inside.

"There's a very high chance that there are several suspects working in on this together," LeSueur said.

A special unit has been sent out to work on this case and that they believe they'll be able to recover 80 percent of the stolen vehicles. At this time, there is no description of which vehicles specifically were taken. The Pena's are just glad it wasn't worse.

"Being found the way it was, which is good, at least we got it back. It's not somewhere else or it's not completely totaled, it's something that can be repaired. They could have gotten in the house but luckily it didn't end up that way. It's not gonna be a total loss. We'll get through this," Michael said.

Police encourage everyone to be cautious of personal items in vehicles and to never leave spare keys where they may be a danger. Anyone with information is asked to call the Odessa Police Department at (432) 333-3641.