ABILENE, Texas - Big Country residents have seen an increase in car break-ins since warmer weather arrived.
Taylor County Sheriff's Department spokesman John Cummins said one thing that can be done to lessen chances of being a target is the one thing people tend to neglect: Locking their vehicles.
"This is proof that it's just not safe to leave your vehicles or your homes unlocked anytime," Cummins said. "The majority of these happened overnight. The vehicles are parked right at the house, but the practice was apparently to leave vehicles unlocked."
So far this year, Abilene has had 199 reported car burglaries – 82 percent with no forced entry.
In Taylor County, nearly half – or six – of the 14 reported break-ins had no forced entry.
Besides locking your doors, Sgt. Lynn Beard from the Abilene Police Department said hide your valuables, including your guns.
"If you're gonna leave your guns in your car while you're driving around most of the day, that's one thing," Beard said, "but when you're home at night, take your weapons inside."
Beard also recommended taking your purse and wallet inside, too, because that could put you at risk for other crimes.
"You leave you credit cards in there, you leave your debit cards in there, your checks are in there, your driver's license, your social security card," Beard said. "Those are things people typically leave in their wallet. Now you're subject to identity theft, credit card fraud, debit card abuse."
Meeting your neighbors could also be beneficial, he said. It constitutes another set of eyes watching your driveway and others who can call law enforcement if they notice something strange.
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