Car Break-ins Catching Neighbors Off Guard
Four In One Weekend 'Normal' For GJPD
Police say four car break-ins over the weekend is not that uncommon. Even though many people feel secure in a smaller community, these crimes are serving as a reminder to protect yourself.
It's sure to ruin your day - finding out that someone has helped themselves to what you keep inside your car.
"If it's an opportunity that a thief can take pretty easily, they're going to take it," Kate Porras with the Grand Junction Police Department said.
In Grand Junction, the overall crime rate has actually gone down. But, this crime just keeps on happening. "It's incredibly common for people to have their cars broken into."
Thieves seem to be targeting purses, wallets, and GPS units. Some people have learned their lesson. "I come from Florida," Ann Peddit said. "You park your car and you close your windows."
Still though, a stroll through a Grand Junction neighborhood showed us that countless people continue to leave their windows rolled down and their cars wide open.
Just this past weekend, four people who parked their cars around town and even at home in their driveway paid the price. They found out the hard way that leaving their doors unlocked only invites the criminals. In fact, Porras estimates that about 80% of all car break-ins in the city are because of unlocked doors.
"We've seen instances where people will go from driveway to driveway testing the doors on the vehicles to see if they're unlocked and then breaking into the ones that are unlocked," she explained.
Besides money or GPS units, police say criminals will also look for other valuables like iPods and cell phones that are left in plain sight. And now, they're warning you to use common sense.
"It sounds simple, but lock up your car, keep your windows up, keep those valuables out of sight," Porras said.
Peddit takes it one step further. "My cars are locked, even in the garage."
Using a security system, parking your car in the garage, and closing any gates that you have on your property will only help deter criminals.
Most homeowners we spoke with told us they were shocked to hear about these break-ins so close to their homes. Though, many told us they still think their neighborhoods are safe.
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