Police warn shoppers about car thefts

Shoppers should be careful all year, not just around the holidays.

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police are warning shoppers not to leave valuables visible in their cars.

They say it’s best to hide things in the trunk or glove compartment where they’re not visible, but safety measures can be a little more complicated than that.

“I usually make sure I keep my purse under, away where nobody can see it,” said shopper Celestine Charles, “and I keep everything else that’s valuable completely out of sight so nobody can see anything. As far as they know, I don’t have it.”

Charles says friends of hers have had electronics stolen from their cars, and she’s not taking any chances.

“Sometimes people just walk by just to check it doors are open,” she said. “If your doors are open, they just snatch whatever they see in sight, but if it’s not open, they probably just going to keep walking.”

Police say shoppers need to take precautions before they even leave their home.

“When you pull into a parking lot and park, if you have a lot of items that you’re going to be putting into the trunk, best thing is to put them into the trunk when you start off from your house,” said Sergeant Joe Kennedy with the Wichita Police Department.

Some robbers will see someone in a parking lot put valuables in their trunk and break into the car later.

If you are the victim of a robbery, you might still be able to recover your lost valuables.

“The one thing is if you have something with serial numbers, go ahead and call 911,” said Kennedy.

Electronics and other items with serial numbers can be returned if an investigation locates them.

“Sometimes jewelry nowadays has a serial number, depending on who the makers are of it,” said Kennedy.

Car thefts tend to go up around the holidays when more people are buying or returning items, but it’s something to be aware of all year.