Security warnings after car break-ins and thefts - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Security warnings after car break-ins and thefts

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CARBONDALE -- Police want to remind us all to be more vigilant protecting belongings such as vehicles, especially after a thief drove off with a Carbondale woman's car.

Carbondale police have a search underway for a thief who took off with a car a woman left warming-up in her driveway. It happened in the 400 block of South Skyline Drive the day before Thanksgiving.

The recent theft leaves neighbors thinking twice about their own habits.

"I couldn't imagine coming outside thinking you're going to get into a warm car, and then there is no vehicle there," said Sonya Baquedano, of Carbondale.

Officers encourage drivers who walk off while warming up their cars in the morning to start it, then lock the doors and use a spare key to get back in.

"Being in that rural area, you expect it's country, it's a little bit slower so you can do things like that but apparently it's not true," Baquedano said.

Other neighbors said they would never dare leave their cars running.

"I don't like leaving things unattended, so I always lock my doors," said Kurt Neubig, of Carbondale. "I feel safer here than I’ve ever felt anywhere else I’ve lived.”

Car-related thefts have also increased outside Carbondale, including in McCracken County.

"First and foremost, anything of value in the vehicle, take it in the house," said Chief Deputy Mike Turnbow, of the McCracken County Sheriff's Department. "Don't leave anything of value in the car. If you're going to leave the GPS or something in the car, lock it, don't make its easy."

Turnbow told News 3 his department investigated 24 car break-ins in a 10-day period this month.

He encouraged drivers to keep a close eye on their vehicles, especially this time of year.

"You've got exhaust in the cold morning," Turnbow said. "It's obvious that the car is running. All it takes is somebody to walk by, the door locks are up, get in it and it's gone."

That's a warning drivers plan to take seriously.

"I definitely will think twice," Baquedano said. "I do have an extra set of keys, and I will lock my doors from now on and I definitely won't stop doing it because I don't like getting into a cold car."

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