Officers Remind Shoppers to Hide Valuables, Shopping Bags

Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 1:30pm

The shopping season is upon us, and while you are away in the store looking for that perfect gift, a crook may be shopping in the parking lot for what is inside your car.

Brownsville police officers worked the Sunrise Commons parking lot on Thursday, reminding shoppers on the dangers of leaving their valuables in their vehicles.

Police say this time of year is ideal for crooks because so many more people are out shopping, so crooks have more vehicles to choose from. Crime prevention officers say just about every other vehicle usually has something of value in it, and during the holidays “smash and grab” break-ins increase.

"It only takes a couple of seconds for someone to break a window, gain access and take your belongings.” Eddie Garcia, of the Brownsville Police Dept said.

Those drivers that officers didn't make personal contact with were left pamphlets alerting them to how they were making themselves easy targets. Many of the people were guilty of leaving valuables in plain sight.

Officers also found several drivers that didn’t even bother to lock their car doors.

One strong piece of advice officers give…

"Try to keep items out of sight." Garcia said.

Like the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. Police say if a crook doesn't see anything enticing in your vehicle, he or she probably won't risk breaking into the car.

Simply putting your shopping bags in your trunk or hiding them in your vehicle will reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

We caught up with one shopper who had her SUV loaded down with unattended shopping bags; she was greeted by an officer when she returned to her car.

She said she welcomes a reminder like this, better to be safe, than burglarized.

"I think it’s awesome. Our officers are doing a great job in assisting our community in preventing thefts and robberies.” the shopper said.

Reducing these types of crimes is the goal of the police department, but prevention is the key; lock your car, take your keys and hide your belongings.

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