GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A series of car burglaries has the Gautier Police Department asking for help from the public.
Police expect car burglaries to go up around the holidays. Christmas shopping is nearing a fever pitch, and thieves look for soft targets. Those happen during the day in parking lots of stores according to Captain Casey Baxter.
But this time, it's different.
"Every one of them has been at home. It's been at nighttime and it's been at home," said Baxter.
According to Baxter, the cars have all been unlocked. He attributes that to a sense of security and trust that many of Gautier's residents have.
Until it actually happens in their neighborhood, residents probably never think about it. That was the case for Larry McGregor, who's spent a decade in his neighborhood without issues - that is, until he walked out to his truck recently and found it plundered. He immediately called his wife.
"Told her about it and she went and checked her car, and it was the same thing with her car, just stuff strewn all over the place," said McGregor.
The situation left McGregor bewildered. Whoever dug through his belongings didn't touch his neighbor's truck.
It's the same story that Doug Backstrom told just a few streets over. Although it happened on the same night, Backstrom didn't know it until the next morning.
"We came out, were going to run up to Hardee's and get a biscuit. Found that my truck, when I opened it up, somebody had been through the glove compartment and the console," said Backstrom.
Besides a few bills, nothing else was taken.
"There was some stuff of value in there that they could have taken, but they passed it by. I really don't understand," said Backstrom.
The whole situation left these and others in the city thinking twice before leaving their vehicles unlocked again. The police department is following up on several leads in connection with the spike of burglaries.
According to police, all of the stolen property has been returned.