Trend: Criminals take advantage of unlocked cars

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WALA) – Police arrested a suspected parking lot purse snatcher in Spanish Fort for allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars worth of things from two cars parked at two separate day cares.

One incident happened at First Baptist Day Care. Police say a mother was dropping off her son. She told police that her four year old son was still in the back seat of the car when the man snatched her purse from the front seat. The other incident happened at Jubilee Child Care Center. Police later tracked down the alleged purse snatcher at a Walgreen’s close by. He faces charges for illegal possession of credit cards and unlawfully breaking and entering a vehicle.  He also faces one charge in Daphne.

Daphne Police Department Lieutenant Jud Beedy says more and more criminals are taking advantage of unlocked cars.
“What we’ve seen lately – a trend – is that criminals aren’t even breaking into cars, but looking for cars that are unlocked,” Lieutenant Beedy said.He calls them “crimes of opportunity.” Criminals will crouch between cars and wait for you to leave your car unlocked. Then once you’ve left, within a matter of seconds they will open your door and take anything left in sight.

“It literally takes less than 10 seconds to go through your car,” Lt. Beedy said. “And if they take your purse or your wallet or your iPad, they have access to all your banking accounts and credit cards.”
Lt. Beedy says you can prevent theft by hiding anything valuable under the seat or in the trunk. You should also take your purse and phone with you into the store.

Most importantly, he says be aware of your surroundings and look around for people that may appear to be out of place.

“You know that sixth sense when the hairs standup on your neck? you need to pay attention to it and know what’s going on,” Lt. Beedy said.

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