KATC Investigates

Oct 2, 2013 11:22 PM by Steven Albritton

Unlocked Car Burglaries A Big Reason for Lafayette Crime Rate Increase

Crime rates are up in the city of Lafayette and the reason might surprise you. Overall, crime is up 9% this year and part of that increase is being blamed on people not doing something that takes a few seconds. It all comes down to locking your car door.

"So far this year we've had 1042 car burglaries here in the city of Lafayette, and probably over 80% of those car burglaries are the result of people leaving their doors unlocked," Corporal Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department said.

We set out to see how many we could find. At one grocery store, it only took a few minutes to find at least six unlocked cars. We spoke with the owners of one of those cars who say they usually lock their door. They recently had a child.

"Oh yeah we were just in a hurry. The baby was asleep so we were just trying to get in and get out," James Mortimore said. "You know because he is a month old, so if he's asleep we try and get everything done," Christin Bernard said.

Police say it only takes a matter of seconds for someone to look inside your car, open it up and steal cash or other valuables. Often, those trying to steal from your car will try to make it look like it's their car so they won't attract attention.

"And for someone who's traveling through a parking lot and in an immediate area, it may not appear that anything is happening at all when in fact a car burglary is occurring," Corporal Mouton said.

Police urge the public to take the extra moment to lock their cars, especially with the holiday season coming up.

"There will be more people out there trying to take advantage of people. They're looking for opportunities, and with those opportunities increasing by people not locking their cars, leaving valuables inside, crime is going to occur," Corporal Mouton said.



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