CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Summer heat and car break-ins may seem like an odd couple, but Cape Girardeau Police say it happens all too often.
"You're mad, you're angry," said Ellen Holford. "It scares you that you're sleeping up in your bed at night, and there are people rummaging through your car."
Holford says she's had a number of things stolen from her car right out of her own driveway.
"You know sometimes you don't learn that lesson from somebody else, it takes the lesson you know being on you," said Holford.
But the break-ins aren't just outside of a home. Darin Hickey with the Cape Girardeau Police Department says they tend to see more vehicle break-ins in the warmer months. He says a lot of times people want to leave their air-conditioning on, while running into a gas station, or quick errand. They think they will be quick, and leave the air on, the car running, and the keys inside. He says that makes you and your vehicle and easy target.
"I would say a majority of our thefts from vehicles come from people who have left their vehicle unlocked, the windows down, and leave stuff in the vehicle," said Hickey.
- 48 vehicle break-ins - Feb., March and April months
- 93 vehicle break-ins - May, June and July months
- 52 vehicle break-ins - Feb., March and April months
- 66 vehicle break-ins - May, June and July
Holford says she doesn't believe these type of thefts are professionals.
"My car was unlocked when my purse was stolen, and I think there were kids going around," said Holford. "It wasn't a professional that took my daughter's face plate off her stereo. I mean they got the face plate, that didn't do them any good."
"A lot of times we do see where they'll hit a neighborhood in one night," said Hickey. "And hit several houses on a street or in a neighborhood, and then other times its just completely random"
"It's just getting irritating, we want to take our neighborhood back," said Holford.
Holford says she wants to start a neighborhood watch group in her neighborhood.
"I think any neighborhood would benefit from just being more aware of each other and neighbors taking care of each other," said Holford.
Hickey says in addition to a neighborhood watch group, it's important to keep your doors locked, and windows up. He says if your car is parked outside your home, to leave a light on to deter thieves from your car.