What thieves look for in unlocked cars

We're starting the time of year when police see a spike in property crimes. 
Jamiese Price...
We're starting the time of year when police see a spike in property crimes. Jamiese Price spoke with investigators and got a look at how easy you can make it for criminals .(WBRC)
Updated: Mar. 18, 2019 at 7:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - We say it all the time, lock your car doors, but people still leave those doors unlock, making them an easy target for criminals.

“We have seen over and over again based on video surveillance and based on what the bad guys have told us that they go from driveway to driveway specifically looking for unlocked cars and when they encounter a locked car they just got to the next driveway. Bad guys have actually told us this is what we look for,” said Irondale Detective Sergeant Michael Mangina.

He said this is the time of year when property crimes start to spike.

“We are now getting into the time of the year when property crimes goes up for everybody and this is the perfect opportunity to remind people not only to lock up your house, turn alarms on, but also more importantly lock your car and make sure you don’t have valuables in plain view in your car,” explained Mangina.


We wanted to see just how easy it was for criminals to get inside your car. With the help of Mangina we randomly checked about 10 cars in our WBRC Parking Lot. In all we found half of the cars were unlocked.

“This car is unlocked.I see maybe some mail, “ said Mangina. “So once again identity theft maybe something to think about.”

Across the parking lock, more car doors were unlocked, but one stopped the detective in his tracks.

“This one is unlocked. Not only are there some nice clothes hanging up there’s money in the cupholder in plain view, there’s also maybe a bag under that shirt,” he said.


Some cars doors were locked, but valuables were in plain sight. So, why does this continue to happen?

“I think people sometimes think that it will never happen to me. It doesn’t matter what kind of car it is, it will happen anywhere, and anybody could be a victim of this type of crime,” continued Mangina.

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