CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A common sense reminder from police in Carrollton: hide your valuables and lock your vehicles. The warning comes after more than a dozen vehicles were burglarized over the weekend in the neighborhood near Cemetery Drive, Northview and Castille. According to Carrollton Police, all of the vehicles had been left unlocked.
“It’s your fault,” admonishes neighbor Manuel Hernandez. “It’s just stupid to even leave the doors unlocked.”
Hernandez says his family learned the hard way to avoid complacency in the safe, comfortable neighborhood that they’ve called home for decades. He says they always notice more trouble when the school year resumes, so after one vehicle break-in years ago, they’ve learned their lesson well.
“We lock our cars, we make sure everything’s inside,” says Hernandez. “Nothing to be stolen, nothing to be taken away—and here we are. We still got our things. It happened to us one time, and that was it.”
Once was more than enough for Justin Murray. Thieves hit his locked car more than a year ago—and he’s still mad. “I came outside to go to work and my car was exactly like this,” gesturing to his open door and open trunk. Thieves bent the door frame to get to the lock, and once inside stole a car stereo system worth several hundred dollars. An expensive drill that he used for work was stolen from the car’s trunk. Murray says he’s been unable to replace the lost items… and keeps an old sock stuffed in the damaged door frame to keep the rain out.
“I’ve worked very hard for the things that I’ve got,” says Murray. “I know I don’t have a whole lot, but I am proud of the things I have and when people steal from me, it hurts. It hurts deep.”
Carrollton police reached out to the community on social media with the warning—and have responded to concerns by reminding citizens that thieves look for easy targets—like unlocked doors. Police are also reminding citizens to ‘take, lock and hide’… saying thieves most often look for vehicles that have valuables visible. Even so, Murray and his roommates are now far more wary.
“We’re always constantly looking, always keeping an eye out for people, trying to do what we can.