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Car burglaries increase in residential areas - Deputies ask residents to lock cars, keep valuables out of sight

An increase in car thefts around town has Fallbrook deputies asking residents to lock their cars and keep valuables inside them out of sight.

According to Sheriff’s detective Jeff Lauhon, two car burglaries that have occurred in the past two weeks have resulted in the loss of military equipment.

“Items stolen include M-16s, flak jackets and helmets,” said Lauhon. “It’s typical summer thefts. Some burglaries are the result of gangsters, others are from dopers, and the rest are from out-of-towners.”

Lauhon stated that some juveniles have already been arrested in connection with some of the burglaries, most of which had occurred in residential areas.

“Almost every auto theft that has occurred recently has been because the [car owner] has left their valuables in plain sight,” explained Lauhon. “It’s almost like having a sign on the car that says, ‘Break into me.’ Fallbrook residents cannot leave their valuables in plain sight.”

Another concern is that vehicles are left unlocked in driveways or parking lots around town, said Lauhon.

“People just don’t lock their doors because they feel that they shouldn’t have to after living here for over 20 years,” he said. “It’s not like that anymore. As a matter of fact, this type of burglary is typical in Fallbrook; there are always these types of robberies going on.”

Lauhon said the fact that kids are on summer break from school has played a role in the increase in vehicle burglaries. In some cases, they may be dared to do so by friends or in the need to impress them, he said.

“Other robberies happen because people want to give their families, friends or neighbors gifts, but [the thief] just doesn’t have the money, so they take it from someone else,” said Lauhon.

It is particularly important to lock cars in driveways as well.

“Out of all the car burglaries happening around town, about 85 percent of them have happened in apartment complexes or in private residential areas,” said Lauhon. “Thieves drive around looking for open cars to break into.”

Commonly stolen items include purses, garmins and other GPS trackers, and small electronics.

“These are like candy to thieves,” said Lauhon.

However, the Sheriff’s department is working hard to catch those involved in the thefts.

“I have already identified some individuals from out of town who are responsible for some of the thefts, and will be arresting them soon,” said Lauhon.

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