Lafayette Police are warning residents to lock their cars because some local thieves are taking advantage of anyone who gives them the opportunity to steal.
Just this week, a car was stolen and expensive items were taken from another unlocked car.
Lafayette Police say they may sound like a broken record reminding folks to lock your cars, but say every theft they've worked lately, has been the result of the owner leaving the car unlocked. In one case the thief took off with the whole car. They hope people will start heeding their advice, otherwise, it may end up costing you major money.
"What they do is if they're going from point A to B, they literally just check door handles on foot and if a car is unlocked, they'll take what they can carry," Lafayette Police Chief Bengie Clift said.
Lafayette Police call it "crimes of opportunity," and it seems this summer, thieves have had a lot of opportunities. In June, they had about a dozen thefts from unlocked cars.
"It is kind of eerie you know. people walking up and down the road trying to get into stuff, seeing what you got and what you don't got," Lafayette resident Carol Stowe told Channel 3 in June.
Officers put the June suspects behind bars. But, a couple more cars were hit this week.
"We'd love for anybody who had any information on any of it, to call us because we don't have a lot of information right now," Chief Clift said.
Sunday, a man left his car running as he shopped in the Dollar General on Main St. When he came back out, the car was gone. He did get it back, but damaged after the thief, described as a white man, around 30, in jeans and a white shirt, crashed into a ditch.
"Somebody actually saw the suspect fleeing the crash," Chief Clift said.
A local plumber also got his hummer ransacked. A thief got away with a $6,000 high-tech pipe inspection camera, a GPS and other smaller items. It was parked at his home, but again, it was unlocked.
"It's going to happen. They're going to get hit if they leave their cars unlocked, because there's so much foot traffic out in town even at 9-10 o'clock," Chief Clift said.
Chief Clift says the majority of the time, it's the same juvenile offenders stealing from unlocked cars because they don't get jail time, and go right back to walking the streets, pulling door handles.
"We've probably had two instances of entering auto where they knock the windows out in 10 or 15 years. It just doesn't happen," he said.
There was also a home break-in in Lafayette last weekend, but detectives think it was targeted by someone the homeowner knows, and not random.
They say with juveniles committing most of the car thefts, the suspect often brags about it to a friend or on social media. You're asked to call Lafayette Police if you hear anything that may help them find the suspects.
Tuesday, April 22 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-04-22 19:13:27 GMT
A day about family ended in tragedy Monday morning at "Our Maker's Acres", a 100-acre family farm in Catoosa County, after a grandmother and her two young grandchildren were killed in an ATV drowning accident.More
A day about family ended in tragedy Monday morning at "Our Maker's Acres", a 100-acre family farm in Catoosa County, after a grandmother and her two young grandchildren were killed in an ATV drowning accident. More