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‘Tis the season for car break-ins: Thefts increase as the holidays approach

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark — The cooler weather may be getting some of us in the spirit, but Little Rock police are now warning neighbors to be cautious of another trend that rises during this time of year. 

Over the weekend, an increase in car break-ins were reported all over the city. 

On Monday, the Little Rock Police Department posted a video on social media as an example of why they stress locking car doors at night. 

In the video, you can see the thief try to open one car door, which was locked, so they moved to the next one. Since it was open, they went in. 

Officer Eric Barnes said with the increase over the weekend, police are sounding the alarm. 

“We are looking at all those possibilities to maybe figure out who this is and we are hoping today with looking for video, we will be able to answer those questions,” he said. 

A string of break-ins — from Friday to early Monday morning, Barnes said LRPD received reports of five car break-ins and one house break-in. 

“This is kind of an opportunity crime. People just search neighborhoods, check door knobs, and until they find that unlocked door knob, they rummage through it quickly,” he said. 

All of them happened in the Heights and Hillcrest areas on Cantrell Rd., Kavanaugh Blvd., N. Pine St., Sherwood Rd., N. Monroe St., and Lee Ave. 

Barnes said when the holiday season approaches, the police department sees a spike in these types of property crimes. 

“People are just looking for money to either buy presents or for whatever other reason they may need it,” he said. 

Barnes said what police see most of is not an actual break-in of a window, but an unlocked car door, which is exactly what happened early Sunday morning on the corner of Lee Avenue and Woodrow St.

“Around 3:00 in the morning, our dog started barking and it kind of woke us up. And we could hear a car door close, but we really didn’t think anything of it,” Jessica Devlin said. 

She has lived in the Hillcrest neighborhood for the past four years and her ring camera caught her neighbor’s car break-in all on video. 

“I was really happy I caught it on camera because, a lot of times, it never gets caught on camera,” Devlin said. 

She said it only took the thief three minutes to get into the car, take what they wanted, and leave. 

“It’s almost as if they targeted the car and had a plan to go look for something, get in, get out, and if you don’t find it, go on,” Devlin said. 

Devlin said this same thing happened to her a couple of years ago and she’s been extra cautious ever since. 

“People just need to keep their doors locked, keep their ring batteries charged, and always be on the lookout,” she said. 

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, LRPD has some tips: With the cold weather, don’t leave your car running unattended. And when you leave your car on the street overnight, lock it, don’t leave anything in plain sight, and light up the outside of your house.

RELATED: Woman finds bullet in recovered stolen car, vehicle thefts on rise in Benton

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