By Patrice Clark -
Ocean Springs, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs Police call it a crime of opportunity.
"The thieves, they are lazy. They want to go for the easier target," Detective John Flowers said.
David Patrick calls the crime a big headache.
"I have had my personal vehicle broken into twice."
Auto burglary is a growing problem in Ocean Springs. Since January, 105 vehicles have been broken into in the city, and Flowers said that high number is very disturbing.
Flowers said, "Often it is because of the trust of the vehicle owners."
Detective Flowers said criminals know that and tend to target cars that are left unlocked and have valuables in plain view.
"Purses, wallets, cell phones, I would say those of three are the most commonly stolen items from vehicles," Flowers said.
In many cases, Flowers said the auto burglaries lead to car thefts. The Ocean Springs Police Department is working to put more eyes out around town to look for the thieves.
"Hopefully, we will put more officers on the streets to take a more active approach to the enforcement of laws and prevent any increase in the crime."
Police said one of the best ways to protect your vehicle and yourself is to simply lock the door.
"It would pose more difficulty to the offender. They would have to break glass for example, which would cause noise, and someone could possibly hear that."
Also, Flowers suggests that citizens think about purchasing an alarm, and always park your vehicle in brightly lit areas.
"Make it more difficult for the offender to make you the victim."
Flowers also recommends that citizens in Ocean Springs start neighborhood watch programs to help keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.