Police say victims may be giving thieves the green light to stea - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Police say victims may be giving thieves the green light to steal

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

Every year, over a billion dollars in personal items are stolen from vehicles, but there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

Some folks in central Texas have experienced this and now they're urging other drivers to change bad habits that can make you a victim.  

Too often people forget to lock their car doors which can cause a thief to quickly take advantage of the situation. Which is what happened to Oscar Zertuche outside his Killeen home.

"Someone was able to jiggle the handle and find out it was open and I found out the next day my stuff was missing," said Zertuche. "They stole an iPhone, a pair of speakers, a pistol and a little radio. I felt taken advantage of, I been in that neighborhood for at least five years. I know a lot of the people there and I felt like I didn't deserve that." 

Sergeant Ricardo Martinez from the Burglary Unit at Killeen Police Department said this one of the main reasons for car break-ins.

"That's the first thing they do they check doors to see if they're even open to begin with. Then they look in vehicles to see if there is anything of value,” Sgt. Martinez said.

The same thing happened to Jesse Scanlan only this time it was a bit different.

"My doors were locked but they broke out the window," Scanlan said.  

The thieves came and went while Scanlan was inside a Walmart for only 20 minutes. Both men had different stories but officers said the victims made a mistake by leaving items visible for thieves to see, making them an easy target.  

"Don't leave things out in plain sight especially things of value," Sgt. Martinez said.

Sgt. Martinez also said there has been a major increase in auto theft due to people leaving their spare keys inside their vehicles. Therefore, they’re encouraging everyone to make sure all spare keys are locked away inside your home, where it's harder for a thief to find.

This is a lesson both men won't forget and they’re encouraging everyone to change their habits to limit the chances of getting their car burglarized.

Harker Height Police Department also gave tips on their social media page encouraging everyone to learn ways to stay safe and secure. 

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