Police noticing increase in break-ins

FAYETTEVILLE Police say it's a crime of opportunity and can easily be avoided. They say a spike in break-ins is partly to blame on residents who often leave their homes and cars unlocked.

On Tuesday night at a community crime meeting, residents in the south Rielly Road area heard an all too familiar theme.

"Lock your home, lock your windows, get to know your neighbors and if you have an alarm use it," said Kathleen Rupert with Crime Prevention. "People just don't want to hear it. I don't know what it is. I guess they assume it's not going to happen to them."

Emanuel Gallardo says his car was broken into recently at the Eutaw Shopping Center on Bragg Boulevard.

"Busted a window ... but I left it unlocked too," Gallardo said. "I mean, they didn't even open the door. They busted the window and went through the window ... took my stereo out."

Crime prevention specialists say that's a familiar story. Many of the vehicles that are broken into are left unsecured with valuables in plain view.

"GSP systems, Playstations, phones, iPods, laptop computers, anything that's really valuable they'll leave in their vehicle thinking that it is a secure place, because it's inside their vehicle," Crime Prevention Specialist Michele Lindo said. "[Suspects] have this little tool handy apparatus that they use and they just basically put it up on the windshield and it almost shatters the windshield silently. And they're in and out of the vehicle very quickly."

Kineiko Woodson is one of the lucky ones. She's lived in Fayetteville for 20 years and has never had a vehicle broken into. Woodson says she never leaves valuables in plain view.

"No, I usually take it with me," she said. "If I have my purse or something very valuable I usually put it in my trunk and lock it."

Fayetteville Police have put up signs reminding residents to park smart by taking their keys, securing their valuables and locking the doors. And officers say the same advice applies to homes.

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