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Auto Burglaries Expected to Rise During Holidays

Police say victims are often times unwilling accomplices
AMARILLO -- The most wonderful time of the year is also the most opportunistic for crooks.  To make it worse, police say we're often times an unwilling accomplices because we make it easier for them.

        Police refer to them as crimes of opportunity.

        Most of us are guilty of it at some time in our lives.  We go to a store for whatever reason and only expect to be away from the car for a minute but, that's all it takes.  We leave our valuables in the front seat in full view and that's when we become victims.

        Amarillo police investigate 50 to 60 car burglaries each week but, that number's expected to spike during the holidays.
   
        Police increase their directed patrols in areas where crimes like this are common.  Usually mall or shopping center parking lots.

        Corporal Jerry Neufeld says these are most often crimes of opportunity where a thief wasn't necessarily looking to burglarize a car but, spotted something they wanted.

        "That's just how they operate.  Sometimes they're actively looking for it and other times the opportunity presents itself.   And, this is such an easy thing for the public to prevent."  Neufeld said.

        Neufeld says it's a quick crime too.  They see something they want, smash the window with something, grab it and they're gone in a matter of seconds.

        Neufeld says location also plays a part in the opportunity.  For instance, car burlgars may target a shopping mall near the interstate for fast, easy escape.

      
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