More than 5,000 car break-ins happen in Tulsa every year. That's an average of 15 people each day who get to their car and find something missing, either a purse, stereo or other type of valuable. Many of those are smash and grabs, where they thief also shatters a car window.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright shows us just how easy it is to do and how you can protect yourself. Smashing a car window takes only a split second, stealing your stuff in only a second or more.
Rick Ackermann knows that all too well. He and a friend parked at 31st and Riverside at 4:30 PM Tuesday for a quick walk. "She had a purse and I didn't realize she left it in the car. It wasn't out in the open. It was on the floorboard, tucked under the seat, you could just see a little bit of it, obviously."
Rick and his friend had just been gone for a minute, but that's all it took to smash out the window and reach in and grab her purse. When they got back, his window was gone and glass was everywhere, all over the ground even in his door handle. He had tools and an amplifier inside, but the thieves only wanted the purse. "Fortunately, she didn't have any money in it, but, she did have a credit card. She got that cancelled right away, nothing was charged on it. But, she was locked out of her apartment and that was a big ordeal."
This is a very common experience, especially for people who park to exercise in the city's parks. Tulsa Police say don't leave anything in your car, especially a purse, even if you think it's well hidden. If you have something in your car like tools or golf clubs, lock them in your trunk. Otherwise, they'll be gone plus you'll be paying for a broken window.
Police also recommend you copy the front and back of everything in your wallet every few months. So, if it is stolen, you'll know which credit card companies to call immediately.
Thanks to Able Salvage on East Pine for helping us demonstrate how easy it is to smash and grab.