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Provo PD urges holiday shoppers to take steps to protect belongings left in vehicles

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Posted at 8:19 PM, Nov 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-28 00:03:03-05

PROVO - It may seem like a broken record, but police say shoppers are making the same mistake.

"It's the hustle and bustle of people coming and going," said Officer Paul Shade with the Provo Police Department. "They tend to forget the small things."

The small things Officer Shade refers to is keeping gifts, or purchased items, in the trunk of the car and out of sight.

"My parents always taught me if you have nice things, hide it," said Stephanie Kohlert, a Black Friday shopper. "Put it under your seat, or in your trunk."

Police say that thefts from cars are up by more than 60 percent during the holiday season. However, most thieves don't break in through car windows. Most will simply check car doors to see if they're unlocked.

“They’re looking to avoid detection," Officer Shade said. "They're not looking to draw attention. They’re just going to check the handle and move on to the next vehicle.”

Officer Shade said thefts can happen quickly, within a matter of seconds, or, they can happen more slowly as the suspects attempt to avoid attracting attention.

"People will actually gain access to the vehicle and then just sit in the driver's seat," Officer Shade points out. "They'll just be sitting there in plain clothes in broad daylight."