Tulsa Police: Vehicle Burglaries Happen More Often During Summer

Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

Police said, about 400 times every month in the City of Tulsa, someone has their car burglarized.

It can get even worse during the summer months, at area parks, where people leave their cars while they walk, jog, bike, or picnic.

Police are stepping up patrols in those areas, but they want you to be better at protecting yourself, too.

Reed Park near West 41st Street and Union has been hit especially hard by vehicle burglars in the past month.

Police said people get out of their cars, and despite signs warning them otherwise, leave their purses, GPS units, tools, golf clubs and other valuables inside their cars, while they take off for 30 minutes to an hour.

So, what should you leave visible in your car?

Corporal Gene Watkins of TPD's burglary unit said,"Nothing."

He said even when people think they are hiding their valuables, they're not.

Watkins advised not to wait until you get to the park or zoo or water park and then put your purse in the trunk. If you must put it there, do so while you're still at home, in your garage, so no one sees you. He said burglars will watch you and as soon as you walk off, they'll break your window, pop the trunk release lever and take your purse. They'll be on a shopping spree long before you ever realize you're a victim.

"These people are wanting quick cash," Watkins said. "They're gonna use your credit cards—they'll be used before you get a chance to cancel them. And that's when the problems start."

Another item police said they see stolen way too often from parked cars is guns, even when people park their vehicles right outside their homes.

A gun is never a good thing to hand over to a criminal.

"Burglars are cowards but when you give them a gun, they have a chance to escalate so we'd like people to take their guns in at night," said Watkins.

As for the purses in the trunks, despite all the warnings, police said nearly half—or 200 times a month—car break-in reports involve a purse taken from the trunk.

Then, you have to call your banks and credit card companies and put alerts on your account, it's a hassle and can take weeks, even months to sort out.