WACO, TX - Lock your doors, hide your valuables and take your keys with you. This is the message Waco Police are sending out after a rise in car break-ins this week.
So many people make the mistake of leaving car doors unlocked or even leaving the keys in the ignition. Police say they have responded to numerous car thefts just within the past three months.
Jared Kemp admits he can be pretty careless about leaving his keys in the car, especially when it's a quick trip.
"I'll just run in real quick, maybe just to tell the clerk $5 on Pump Five," Kemp said.
Still, he says he knows the importance of taking the keys with him.
"It only takes two seconds to come and steal a car," Kemp said.
"What happens is our citizens become a little bit complacent because they live in a safe neighborhood, they know that the crime rate is dropping and they feel comfortable," says Waco PD Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.
Waco Police say don't get too trusting - they are seeing a spike in car thefts and burglaries.
"Over half those cases are occurring because keys are left in them, or that valuable is left inside the car and the vehicle is not even locked up," Swanton said.
Purses, laptops and phones are being taken - mostly on the west side of town.
"What you have is the criminal element has come along and decided, 'You know what? It's too hot in this Texas summer heat to be walking. I see an opportunity here,'" Swanton said.
Police are urging people to lock their doors and to hide their valuables.
"Always stay on guard. What we ask our community is help us protect you by not becoming a victim," Swanton said.
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