Watch Out for Burglars During the Holidays

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- It's that time of year, when crooks may try to capitalize on the deals you've scored while shopping this holiday. In Odessa, police say auto burglaries are actually down from January through November compared to last year, but Corporal Sherrie Carruth says they always expect to see more burglaries around Christmas.

"It can happen anytime any place anywhere to anybody," Carruth said.

Carruth tells NewsWest 9, criminals often wait in parking lots, looking to target people who are alone or who have left their cars unlocked.

"You've got people literally going out looking to see if doors are unlocked, looking in there to see if there is anything worth taking," Carruth said.

Presents, packages, or wallets and purses can be enticing enough, but Carruth says in the age of identity theft, bills or papers with personal information can cost you more than a stolen holiday gift.

"With identity theft being on the rise, I would not leave anything in my car that is first of all going to identify where I live or that has personal information that they can use to steal your identity," she said.

Carruth warns women not to leave their purses inside the car, because she says crooks watch for women who get out of a car without one.

At Glass Doctors, an auto glass repair shop, manager Eric Robbins says they see their fair share of burglaries.

"Sometimes we see as many as two or three or four vehicles," Robbins said about the number of burglaries they see in a day.

Robbins says they always anticipate those numbers to climb during the holidays.

"People have packages and stuff in their vehicles and somebody that's walking through the parking lot might want to steal and break the glass," he said.

Carruth says they're not just lurking in parking lots. She advises residents to lock windows, doors, and to close their garage doors to cut down on home burglaries. She advises residents to start neighborhood watch programs and call police anytime there is something suspicious.