Dec 2, 2012 6:28 PM by Eric Ross
COLORADO SPRINGS- It's that time of year again when law enforcement agencies across the region begin seeing a spike in auto burglaries.
Yarima Herrera knows all to well the headache and hassle a car break-in can cause.
"I had to pay a $250 deductible," she said. "My jewelry and CD's were also gone."
Like most of us, she thought her car would never be targeted by thieves, especially with it being parked in front of her house. However, she couldn't have been more wrong.
"It just happened right beneath our noses," she said. "If it happens to you at your own house in your own driveway, of course it can happen to you at a store where you are nowhere near your car."
Last year, there were more than 4,000 auto burglaries in Colorado Springs, many of which took place in commercial places like mall and strip center parking lots.
"24 hours a day, I have officers here at this mall," Chapel Hills Mall Security Director Edward Beane said.
He's been with Valor Security Services for 5 years and is dedicated to keeping crime rates low there.
He adds that in addition to monitoring surveillance cameras, extra patrols will be out during the holidays.
Meanwhile, police want residents to do their part in combating crime.
"We ask folks to be aware of their surroundings," Larry Herbert with the Colorado Springs Police Department said. "Before they get out of their car and when they leave the building to return to their vehicle, take the time to look around and check the surrounding area."
Herrera is more cautious now about what she leaves in her car and hopes her message will help save you the headache she experienced.
"Lock your cars and remove all valuables just in case," she said.
It's a "common sense" message police and security officers wish more people would follow.
"Cars of all makes or models can be targeted dependent upon what's inside," Beane said.
If you are unable to take valuables with you, officers recommend you hide them underneath a seat or lock them inside your trunk.
If shopping late at night, it's best to park in well lit areas.