Greensboro police issue warning about car break-ins

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Tuesday, Greensboro police went door to door, but not because of a murder or a criminal on the run. Police say no matter how many times they remind people to protect themselves, car break-ins continue to happen.

This week the department is holding “Larceny From Motor Vehicle Awareness Week” and going all around the city to places that are frequently targeted.

“It can take literally seconds to break into a car that is unlocked and people who are walking by probably wouldn't even know a crime is occurring because it's that quick,” said Lt. JP Kimmel with Greensboro police.

Just this week, police had reports of a car window smashed in a Lowes parking lot on Tuesday, and lawn equipment stolen from a pick up Monday.

“I have several contractor friends that went into Home Depot and places like that and things were missing off the trailer and that's when I really started kind of chaining stuff down,” said Mike Williams, a contractor in the Greensboro area.

Large parking lots, shopping centers and apartment complexes like the one police officers were canvassing Tuesday are often targets. Police say some thieves will try as many car handles as possible to see if any are unlocked, while others will look for valuables inside the vehicle and then smash a window.

“Anything from loose change, to electronics to clothing to guns to large amounts of cash, identification, car registrations [are stolen],” explained Lt. Kimmel.

Police say people can avoid being a victim if they simply put valuables out of sight and lock their car doors.