A rash of car burglaries are hitting North Austin. The Austin Police Department tells us multiple vehicles are being broken into. Most are happening in the parking lots of hotels, restaurants and retail stores along I 35 between St. Johns and Highway 290. In some cases windows are being broken.
Here's what APD recommends; locking your car and take your valuables with you.
"Only half of the burglaries that have been committed, have been forced entry. Thieves are looking for opportunities when people leave their cars unlocked. They can easily get in and steal property," says Vaneza Bremner, Austin Police Department.
If you are a victim of this type of crime, you can report it to 311.
If you have information about a suspect or incident, you're asked to call police.
Please keep in mind that 90% of burglaries of vehicles are preventable -
-Always lock your vehicle. Oftentimes, car burglars will walk down parking lot aisles trying car door handles. Many burglary of vehicles involve no forced entry due to the doors being left unlocked by the owner.
-If you are going to leave bags with your purchases in your vehicle, hide them or place them in your car trunk. Remember, burglars may be in the parking lot watching and waiting for you to leave your purchases. If you have more shopping to do at the same location, consider loading your purchases and driving around the parking lot and parking in another spot in case a burglar is watching.
-Do not leave anything of perceived value in your vehicle in plain view (cell phones, tablets, laptops, iPods, GPS units, purses, wallets, or backpacks even if empty). Either place items in the trunk, out of sight/covered, or take the items with you. If at all possible, have items already put away before arriving at your destination as auto burglars may be watching.
-Never leave your keys inside your vehicle, and never leave your vehicle running and unattended. Not only is it illegal under Texas law, but insurance companies often will consider this as owner-assisted auto theft.
And always remember, think before you drive! Hide your bags, THEN drive to your next destination. That way you can walk away from your car like there's nothing valuable in it.