CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A holiday warning from CMPD - lock your cars.
But if you decide to leave them unlocked, make sure to clear out all your valuables, or crooks will do it for you. There's a gang roving apartment parking lots doing just that.
We have surveillance video from the Camden Foxcroft Apartments near Charlotte Country Day school, where a well-disguised trio is combing cars at 4 a.m.
"It's hard to get an exact age range on these individuals," said CMPD Detective Brandon Miller, "but, looking at the video, builds and sizes and everything, they appear to be early teens, even late teens."
One person dressed in white finds the front door of the white car unlocked, which leads to opening the back door, and then, we can see the moment the crook commits a felony by stealing a box of unidentified valuables.
“A common thing we’re seeing now, especially when it comes to break ins - they’re not really breaking glass anymore, they’re going around checking unlocked cars and car doors and seeing what’s available to them.”
What's even more amazing is that people purposely leave their cars unlocked so they won't get windows broken out.
"A lot of people will tell us nowadays they'd just rather leave it unlocked, versus have someone damage their vehicle and cost more money to get it replaced, so a lot of people tend to leave their vehicles unlocked."
At this point, police have very little evidence to corral these crooks.
"We're asking if anybody, especially those who live in apartment complexes or townhomes and things of that nature, if you see people walking around in the middle of the night, please give us a call."
If you go to the trouble and expense of buying presents, remember to lock them out of plain sight, or, just take them with you. If you have any information that might help, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 to earn a cash reward.