Car break-ins on the rise, CMPD say thieves casing parking lots - | WBTV Charlotte

Car break-ins on the rise, CMPD say thieves casing parking lots

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Just in time for Christmas - criminals are preying on unsuspecting victims. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say they have seen an increase in car break-ins.

Police say since they are crimes of opportunity, thieves are looking for people who make it easy for them to target.

"I try to be a little extra careful this time of year," said Misty Winn of Charlotte. The busy mom of three has a hectic holiday schedule but is careful not to get so caught up in the hustle in bustle that she unknowingly makes herself the victim of a crime.

"I try to put things in the back of the trunk so and I usually have a blanket in the back so I can keep it covered up," she said. 

But Sgt. Tom Barry with CMPD says that's not enough and that sometimes crooks are way of head of you just looking for their next victim.

"Don't wait till you get to the parking lot to put that valuable in the trunk just in case someone is watching you from afar," he said.

Cassandra Rolle, another Charlotte resident, admits she almost never does that but is quick to point out she always does the one thing police say never fails to make it harder for thieves.

"One, I make sure that my car door is locked," she said. 

That may sound like a no brainer but police say a lot of criminals get away with stolen loot that way.

"If somebody sees an item of value sometimes they just check the doors to see if they're unlocked," he said. 

Others, said Sgt. Barry are willing to take a bigger risk by breaking your car window or popping your lock.

More than anything police say it's about awareness during this busy time of year.

"You just have to be a little bit more cautious and watch over your shoulder a little bit more," said Winn.

Police also advise you to call 911 whenever you see a suspicious person. They say doing that could prevent the next crime.

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