Locking your doors is best car break-in prevention as ‘opportunity’ crimes rise

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Madison County Sheriff's Deputies respond to someone breaking and entering into a vehicle nearly every day in the communities they cover. Those with the agencies said the number of "opportunity break-ins" are rising.

"One of the ways that thieves are victimizing the victims is dropping thieves off, other thieves off, to walk through a community," Lt. Donny Shaw explained. "They'll pull a car door, if it's locked they'll go to the next one and they'll keep going til they find one that's open."

Madison County Sheriff's Deputies urge people to take their valuables inside, purses, bags, leather jackets, especially after 9 at night.

"You very rarely see a broken window or a punched door lock any more," Lt. Shaw said. "It's just the opportunity of taking a person that's left their car open, and opening that door and taking whatever contents are inside."

Deputies reported a car breaking and entering may turn into a house break-in if you aren't careful.

"If somebody leaves their house keys or they have a garage door opener, they can go into the car, take whatever they want in the car, and if it's during the daytime and they suspect that nobody is home, they can hit the garage door opener, "Lt. Shaw explained. "They can go into the house without having to break into the house."

For those heading out the door for the holiday, you do want to protect your belongings in your home too. Remember to double-check all doors and windows are locked before leave. Put timers on your lights and don't advertise your trip on social media.