“Oftentimes the victims are not locking their vehicles,” SAPD Officer Tracy Gonzalez said.
Most of the time, this crime can be prevented by the victims.
"Vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity,” Gonzalez said.
If you look around this neighborhood, you might not notice anything out of the ordinary but to thieves, all these unattended cars are opportunities because chances are somebody left their doors unlocked.
"Criminals don't want to make noise so if they can try a door handle and open that car, they're gonna do that before they break glass,” Gonzalez said.
Recently, the PaulAnn neighborhood has been hit time and time again by thieves, stealing whatever they can from vehicles left unlocked. That includes guns
"If you're going to leave your firearm unsecured in your vehicle you're just asking for the gun to end up in the wrong hands,” Gonzalez said.
According to San Angelo Police, so far this year 141 guns have been reported stolen from vehicles. That number up from last year with 118 guns reported stolen.
Another issue police run into when it comes to victims reporting the crime;
"They start touching everything. They touch the door, they touch the window. They're rummaging through the vehicle to see what's been stolen,” Gonzalez said.
Their advice, report it as soon as you can. Once you do though, remember that this is a misdemeanor crime which means it does not get assigned to a detective. The San Angelo Police Department is actually one of the few departments across the state and nation who still respond to vehicle burglaries.
Citizens living in the area have also taken to an app called next door. They share surveillance video and information. With those tips and pictures turned into police some ID's and arrests have been made. Still, your best bet;
"Lock your vehicle,” Gonzalez said.