Take caution when Christmas shopping, burglars may be eyeing your car - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Take caution when Christmas shopping, burglars may be eyeing your car

Lawton_Many folks are starting their holiday shopping for gifts.  Police say so are the burglars.  The difference is they are after the shoppers gifts, so they're targeting cars.  Cars loaded down with shopping bags and boxes left out in the open and left unattended create easy targets.  While police do patrol parking lots more often this time of year, they can't be everywhere.  They do stress that there is a lot shoppers can do to make sure their gifts get under the tree this Christmas.

Police say it's simple - "out of sight, out of mind."  What a burglar can't see, he or she won't be tempted to steal.  If you are going to be away from your vehicle, don't leave anything in your seats - lock it away in your trunk.  "Most crimes of burglary of autos are crimes of opportunity," said Lawton Deputy Police Chief James Apple.  "A lot of times, these people that are going to break into cars, they'll park out a distance a little bit from the door so they can walk through different cars and see what's in them."

Sometimes criminals aren't watching cars - they're watching you.  "They will also sit in a parking lot and watch the people bring things out to their car, and then go back in the store to maybe purchase something else or go to a different store, doing that they pick and choose what they want," said Apple.

Apple says the best advice he can give is really quite simple.  "Keep your car locked, and keep the gifts and whatever you may buy out of sight."  Police say that burglars don't want to get caught, so it isn't likely they'll be jiggling handles to cars that entice them.  "We have cars that are loaded down with stereos with iPods that are easily removed, GPS systems that are easily disconnected from the vehicle," he says.  More words of caution - once something has been stolen, it's gone for good.  "A lot of times, especially if they're turning it a quick cash profit, they don't remember who they sold it to, where they pawned it, or who they even gave it away to," said Apple.

Police say shoppers should start the bargain hunting with an empty trunk so they won't have to pile items up in plain view inside the vehicle.  They says that even though your shopping bags may be heavy, avoid dropping them off in your trunk before hitting the store again.  Around the holidays, police say that no precaution is extreme, and they even suggest keeping a blanket, quilt, or towel in your vehicle to cover your holiday purchases.

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