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St. George police sees spike in car burglaries

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Posted at 7:23 PM, Feb 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-09 21:23:11-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Police say an unprecedented spike in vehicle burglaries prompted a familiar warning to residents -- keep valuables out of cars.

In the past two weeks officers have responded to more than 20 different calls of vehicle burglaries.

“It’s noticeable enough that we wanted to put some information out to St. George and the residents here that we are seeing an upswing,” said St. George police Sgt. Sam Despain. “There are individuals out there that seem to be preying on vehicles.”

Despain said police usually see a spike around holidays, but this one is unprecedented.  One of the most concerning things about this uptick is that the majority of the cars were unlocked.

“It is a crime of opportunity,” Despain said. “And it’s a preventable crime. Something that’s very, very simple.”

Police say the easiest thing to do is to keep vehicles locked.

Police also suggest not leaving valuable items inside a car and being on the lookout for suspicious activity.

St George resident Lisa Cunley said her neighbor’s car was broken into overnight while it sat in the driveway. She said it is unfortunate neighborhoods aren’t as safe as they used to be.

“More disappointed than anything else,” Cunley said. “We used to be able to keep our doors unlocked, but now we can’t do that. Times have changed.”

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity in their neighborhood is asked to contact St. George police at 435-627-4300.