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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingIt's the season for car break-ins, and unfortunately, getting it on tape doesn't always mean the thief will get caught. Car burglaries tend to go up when the weather gets hotter as more people are out and they have sometimes more in their cars. But these kinds of crimes often go unsolved.
Managers at Neptune Divers are used to dealing with scuba gear and classes. Recently they've had something else on their mind--car burglaries.
Lori Zoun, Neptune Divers Manager: “In the last month we've been hit, had three cars hit."
This customer said the thief stole 10-thousand dollars worth of items from his car.
Neptune Customer: “ Tools, stereo equipment, clothes.”
Neptune captured the next incident on surveillance tape. In the background you can see a man look in the windows of two cars. He then pulls up into the front of the parking lot and looks into another car, and then within a minute, breaks into the window, grabs a purse and cell phone and takes off.
Lori Zoun, Neptune Divers Manager: “We’re frustrated. We don’t want people to be afraid to park here. We try telling all of them not to leave any valuables in their car.”
Police say that's good advice.
Det. Kevin Joiner: “If you leave anything in your car --a piece of paper-- the people that are committing these crimes, in their mind, it makes them think there's something in there."
The customers at Neptune were upset when two out of three times a police officer didn't come to the scene. But police say they often deal with these calls over the phone since they only have a handful of detectives to deal with a huge problem.
Det. Kevin Joiner: “Generally we average around 800 vehicle burglaries per month, city-wide."
For the victims, what they see as a lack of follow-up can be frustrating.
Neptune Customer: “They would rather wait until my items turn up in a pawn shop."
Police say, unfortunately they don't get a lot of good evidence in these kind of cases. They can't take fingerprints off the car because weather deteriorates them and think how many people have touched your car. Those cases with surveillance video often aren't clear enough to get a license plate or make an ID.
If you're going to leave items in your car, put them completely out of sight, like in a trunk. But be aware that even this doesn't always work.