Madera Police warning residents of increased car burglaries during the holidays

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Madera Police are sending out a seasonal warning of thieves that are targeting cars and trucks for their holiday treats.

To a crook, a parking lot may look like a sea of sitting ducks. The Madera Walmart parking lot is filled with potential targets and the city has seen its share of thefts from vehicles lately.

"Last month, we had 24 reported vehicle burglaries or thefts from vehicles," Cpl. Matthew McCombs with the Madera Police Department said. "This month, we're at 22."

McCombs said the numbers aren't alarming right now, but thievery tends to pick up during the holiday season as more shoppers hit stores and get distracted during busy days.

We spotted a lot of cars with enticing items behind just the glass windows -- from phone chargers to books to clothes. It's nothing big, but shoppers told said they know they're sometimes vulnerable.

Sometimes we forget," shopper Heather Reyes said. "We just leave them in the car."

And it's not just electronics that are valuable. Some of the most valuable stuff to steal may be sitting in your glove box

"I have papers when I go to class or I go to offices or visits," Dorien Hernandez of Madera explained. "I leave a lot of my information with my birthday, everything on there. So, when I see that, I get scared."

Police say hiding your valuables should be a top priority. They suggest planning trips so you're buying the less valuable items early and the expensive stuff right before you go home. And they recommend shoppers think of other ways to protect themselves too.

"If you go out shopping, try to do it with a shopping buddy. Don't go out by yourself," McCombs said. "If you're going out by yourself, try not to use cash or show you have a large amount of cash on you."

They're small steps to make sure thieves don't have a big holiday shopping season.
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