EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) — The El Paso Police Department released surveillance video of crooks caught in the act breaking into cars.
It’s crazy how fast they get away with your stuff.
Sgt. Robert Candia warning El Pasoans, “The main thing is lock your doors.”
Sounds easy enough. Once you’re parked, grab your keys and hide anything you think a crook might want -- because when you don’t, you make their job too easy.
“They call it car hopping. They’ll start checking door handles and as soon as it’s open they’ll go in there,” Candia says.
Like the men caught on camera in surveillance video.
“As you can tell they’re just walking. They don’t even have gloves in their hands or anything like that. They’re using their shirt to hide their fingerprints. The car is left open. The other guy starts rummaging through it while the other one over there is a lookout,” he explains as he goes over the footage.
El Paso Police said numbers don’t vary too much from year to year -- but can increase from month to month, or week to week. Pebble Hills Regional Command saw a spike in car burglaries the last week of February -- 17 cars were broken into, and 14 of those cars were unlocked.
In one of the surveillance videos you see a woman. She appears to be walking through a parking lot talking on her cellphone. But, as you keep watching her, she has no problem getting into the back seat of an SUV.
“There’s people walking by oblivious to her actually breaking into the victim’s car,” Candia said.
As you continue to watch the video, you see the woman doesn’t stop there. As you continue to watch you see her continue to check every single car in this row. There’s no target area crooks hone in on. Candia said it happens all over.
“As soon as we start seeing a little trend in a certain area we saturate the area with unmarked cars, surveillance video and whatever the case may be and we’ll put a stop to it.”
He then shows another video of another car getting broken into in a driveway at a home. It doesn’t matter how safe you think your neighborhood is -- always lock your door. Or in another case, clear your truck bed. In just minutes a crook got away with someone’s work ladder.
“He’s in and he’s gone,” Candia shows us.
In more than half of the cases investigated, the victims didn’t lock their doors. Let these victims' misfortunes serve as a cautionary tale the next time you walk away from your car.