Car break-ins are up in Clovis

FRESNO, Calif.

Their biggest piece of advice -- when you park your car keep everything out of sight. And it's probably best to keep your keys with you, too.

In the video, this is the man Clovis police say stole a set of keys from inside a GB3 gym. This video does not show the man take the keys -- but police say he took them, then walked outside and stole property from the victim's trunk.

James Hopper works out at this gym six days a week. He says out of habit he leaves nothing in his car no matter where he is. "I always take anything valuable with me, it's in my bag. I don't leave anything in my car."

Police say there have only been 15 car burglaries and four thefts in this parking lot since January. But city-wide an average of 120 car break-ins and thefts have happened each month since the start of the year. For this same time last year -- the average was 105 a month.

Janet Stoll-Lee with the Clovis Police Department said, "The thefts are usually when people leave their cars unlocked. The burglaries happen when people leave stuff on their seats, like purses, wallets and things of value."

Stoll-Lee says neighborhoods are being hit the hardest. She says no matter if you car is parked outside your home or in a parking lot valuables should be hidden. Action News spotted one car with a purse, cash and other items in plain sight.

Soutchai Xaphirak admits she leaves her wallet in the car. "I keep it locked up and everything, and when I'm working out I think about it too. I think about my car all the time, I work out right here so I can see my car out the window."

As for the suspected burglar caught on camera -- Clovis police say they're not sure if he broke into a locker to get the keys, But they want to talk to him.

Police also says if you can, park your car in the garage. And even then, they say it's still a good idea to lock your car.

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