'Smash and Grab' Burglaries on the Rise - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

get more>> Web Enhanced 11/25/03

'Smash and Grab' Burglaries on the Rise

It's a common sight during the busiest shopping season of the year, a huge parking lot full cars, prime targets for car burglars. It's called 'Smash and Grab' and the incidence of it in Lubbock is on the rise. Thieves smash your car window, grab anything valuable, and run.

Captain Glen Fowler of the Lubbock Police Department says, "They're breaking out the glass to gain entry and the majority of the time that's because they're after electronics, stereos, or they're after someone's purse or wallet that's been left in the vehicle."

Bill Maddox, owner of Zip Auto Glass, says this crime trend has been visible through the sheer volume of his business. He says, one customer left her purse right on the front seat. "They saw that purse and broke in and took off. She says thank goodness they didn't see the laptop sitting on the back seat." And replacing a windshield is not cheap.  If you don't have insurance to cover it, Maddox says the cash price is $150 to $250.

Captain Fowler says car burglars strike any time and anywhere they think you'll be parked for a while. That means night clubs, movie theaters and of course, shopping areas. He asks, "If you notice anything suspcicious, call the police department.  We'd rather come check it out than have you report a burglary to us." 

There are things you can do to keep from becoming a victim of a smash and grab.

  • Don't leave anything of value out where a burglar can see it. (Even CD's or a cell phone and especially not a purse.)
  • When you're out shopping, put bags in the trunk. If you don't have a trunk, cover valuables with a blanket.
  • Park in well-lit lots or parking garages. When parking on a street, turn the vehicle's front wheels toward the curb to discourage unauthorized towing.
  • Never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle. Thieves know all the hiding places.
  • Never leave your vehicle running unattended. Vehicles are commonly stolen at ATMS and convenience stores.
  • Never leave the registration card or title in the car.
  • Don't leave bank statements, credit card bills or other personal information in your vehicle. Thieves can use this information to access your bank and credit card accounts.
  • Use anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks or brake pedal locks, and be sure to engage your anti-theft alarm when you leave the car.
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