Auto Thefts: Do You Protect Yourself?
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - How far do you go to protect yourself and your belongings? Police say if you think you're safe, think again.
Cape Girardeau investigators tracked down one of three vehicles stolen just this weekend.
Cape police say they average a couple of car thefts a week, and sometimes deal with up to about five or six so this would be normal.
Meanwhile, not becoming a statistic could be as simple as locking your doors, and hiding your valuables even if you're leaving your car for just a couple of minutes.
"I didn't think anybody would steal my car," said Kevin Sanders of Cape.
But someone did. Sanders left his car overnight at his workplace on Saturday. It was gone Sunday morning. Police found it abandoned a few blocks away, but Sanders isn't sure he'll ever be able to drive it again.
"The console's broke, the shifter's broke, and I can't get my key in the ignition," he said.
Sanders locked his car, but the window didn't roll up all the way. Police say that made it an easy target for thieves on the prowl.
"In Cape it's usually a crime of opportunity. Often times we'll find it that same day, not far from where it was stolen across town. Maybe they're trying to get a ride across town. You don't hear very many cases of chop shops going on around Cape Girardeau," said Cpl. Ike Hammonds with the Cape Girardeau police. He points out break-ins are all too common.
"People get lackadaisical securing their vehicle. They're thinking this is not St. Louis or Memphis (it) won't happen here," Hammonds said.
We decided to put that theory to the test, so we walked around looking into vehicles parked outside a busy grocery store. From open windows and purses to CD players and other valuables laid out in plain sight, we found it all.
"There's just cigars in my wallet," said Brian Rogers of Cape Girardeau. But then he admits to having checkbooks in there as well.
"I'm not worried about it, not in Cape Girardeau," Rogers said.
Another woman left her windows cracked and her doors unlocked.
"You figure it won't happen close to home," she said.
Police say just lock up and make it as hard as you can for thieves to break in.