APD sees uptick in car thefts, burglaries; Leander police respond to 7 car burglaries in one night

Leander police say there were seven reported car burglaries this past Sunday night, including one caught on camera in the Highlands at Crystal Falls neighborhood in South Leander

“Appears to be some juveniles checking unlocked doors on vehicles. In this particular video, the white one it seems to be unlocked so the juvenile checks the door handle and gets in,” Lt. Michael Mohler said.

In one video, all it takes is one tug of a door handle for them to swipe possessions that don't belong to them.

RELATED: Leander police investigating several vehicle burglaries in South Leander neighborhood

“We have a very high percentage of vehicles that are burglarized simply by unlocked doors,” Mohler said.

That same morning further down in south Austin, the Austin Police Department received a phone call about a stolen minivan on Kennedy Street in the Bradshaw Crossing neighborhood. A video shows three men in dark clothing opening the door of a silver Kia Sedona.

“Thieves basically walk by and they'll test the doors to see if the vehicle is locked and if not they'll just break a window to remove the items,” David Wright with APD's auto theft unit said.

APD says they've been working several cases where people leave spare keys inside their cars.

“The holidays are coming up and we have a slight uptick in not only car thefts but burglaries of vehicles as well. People are still leaving items inside the vehicles,” Wright said.

APD says they've also been working cases where firearms left inside of vehicles are stolen.

“Make sure they have the serial number available and take a picture of the gun so we have a bit of reference,” Wright said.

APD is reminding everyone of their "lock it or lose it" initiative they started in order to reduce property crime.

“Enjoy the holidays but be mindful the thieves don't take time off,” Wright said.

Leander police say this year to date, 84 percent of car burglaries in Leander have been because of unlocked car doors.

“Take all personal property out of your vehicle if it's going to be parked in your driveway overnight. Number two please lock your car doors. That deters a number of burglaries we have in our community," Mohler said.

Both LPD and APD say to take those few extra steps to safeguard your belongings - and your peace of mind.

Anyone with any information on these burglaries is asked to call.