Are Thieves Looking in Your Car? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/1/04

Are Thieves Looking in Your Car?

Lubbock police tell NewsChannel 11 they saw an increase in the number of car burglaries in November. They say criminals are looking for easy targets with sure pay offs and in most cases, they're getting away with it. NewsChannel 11 went on patrol with Lubbock police to see what mistakes Lubbock shoppers are making.

To you a parking lot full of cars probably looks like just that, but to a thief, it's an opportunity. "Around the shopping season it seems like the mall or the shopping centers seem to get hit more, cause it seems like there's more traffic for the thieves," says Corporal Clay Winters, with the Lubbock Police Department.

We took a walk with Corporal Clay Winters, to see what items if any would catch the eye of a thief inside these cars.

"A lot of people will just walk through parking lots and check doors just you know kind of a crime of opportunity not with a plan of breaking into something," Cpl. Winters said.

"Now what about this briefcase back here does that look like something?" we said. "Yeah that's definitely something they may break in to get after," Winters answered. 

The first few cars didn't have much to offer, but it didn't take long for us to find... "There's a lot of property in here. In this vehicle here you can see several cd's lying in the back seat, sunglasses in the front. You know nothing of real value, but things that might interest a car burglar. In this vehicle there's a portable DVD player hanging right there on the seat. That would definitely be intriguing. A tool set, several DVD's," Cpl Winters said.

Cpl. Winters says it only takes seconds for a thief to get in and out of a car, and the easiest targets are the cars with goods on display.  "This vehicle right here has a purse there in plain view and the doors are unlocked. This is easy." "This would be the jackpot?" we asked. "Oh yeah definitely.

We were only three spots from the mall entrance, so it's a busy area. "Yeah, but I could get that purse and be gone and half way across the parking lot. You're just asking for trouble doing that its too easy," Cpl Winters said.

So Cpl Winters says remember the best way to protect yourself is to hide or take out anything of value from your vehicle. Almost all of the cars we found during this story were locked, but about half of them had steal-able items in plain view.

Car burglaries are a class A misdemeanor, punishable with up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

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