Car break-ins up by 60 percent in Guilford County, deputies say owners aren’t locking their doors

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Car break-ins are up 60 percent in Guilford County and deputies say it's because owners aren't locking their doors.

"The cars are unlocked the thieves are going through the neighborhoods basically checking the handles,​" Deputy Daniel Harris said.​

Harris said that's the case in over 90 percent of the 32 they've seen so far. In some cases, guns, cash and even the cars themselves have been stolen.

"We've had instances where car owners left their keys inside the car," Harris said.

Regina Banaska's daughter was one of those people. Banaska said her daughter woke her up around 6 a.m. one Sunday morning to find her car stolen from their driveway. Deputies found the vehicle the next day, but it was almost unrecognizable.

"It was completely trashed," Banaska said. "They tore the bumper off, it looked like they had hit something, tore off the insides of her doors, the windshield was broken and the back windshield was completely shattered."

Deputy Harris said it's a problem that could be easily fixed if car owners would remember to lock up or risk losing their belongings.

"The days of being able to go to school or go to church on Sunday with your doors and windows open are gone, gone forever," Harris said.

As a tip, he says if you have any property with a serial number on it, write the number down. If it's stolen, they can track the number and get it back to you much easier.