Better lock your car, even at home

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It's a good to feel safe in your own neighborhood, but sometimes you learn the hard way what happens when you let your guard down. "We noticed everything was moved around, the seats were pushed back in one of the cars and the glove box was open," Cay Mcaninch recalled following a number of neighborhood vehicle break-ins. "My husband came in and he said come check your car and see if anything is missing." Nothing was taken, but some of the neighbors weren't so lucky.

"This all started back in the early spring and it has gone all the way through the summer, Sgt. Greg Sowell, Nacogdoches Police Department public information officer said. "We've had a rash of automobile burglaries."

Sowell says people become careless about their safety. Motorists lock up our car at the shopping center or grocery store, but when it comes to their own neighborhood they throw common sense away.

Burglary victims should know to report the crime quickly. Police are better equipped than they've ever been before to solving burglaries.  Police caught one suspect with stolen goods which elated the victim.  "They (police patrol) are doing a bang up job. They're incredible," Kent hutchison said enthusiastically.  "In less than 24 hours I got half my stuff back and it was because they were out doing their normal patrol." Police stopped a man who had violated his probation. Hutchison's items were found in the car. Recorded serial numbers led to a prompt return of his property.

Most cases take much longer to solve. A pawn shop owner, who is married to a law man, has this advice on conducting a bit of your own police work. "You get a copy of that police report and then send it out," Cheryl Ball advised.  "I would recommend send it out to a 100 mile radius to other pawn shops. Pawn shops don't want to lose the money to buy the item, nor the money they get in a sale. And most of all we don't want the reputation of buying stolen goods." Ball, a former burglary victim, said she has notified police frequently when she suspected someone was trying to sell stolen goods.

The easiest thing is to be pro active. "We locked up very good," Mcaninch said.  "He (her husband)  even sometimes leaves the keys in the car and so we have had to change our ways a little bit." we've all heard the tips, but it sometimes takes a misfortune to get us to follow them.

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