TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Car break-ins are on the rise in Terre Haute. And, police say it will only get worse as the holiday season approaches.
Lots of holiday cheer, good food and of course gifts are the focal point of the holiday season. But, police are warning you to pay close attention during all the hustle-bustle.
Panic sunk in for Carol Jeffries when she noticed her 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe was missing.
"I thought to myself did I happen to park in the back yard?" Jeffries said. "Is this really happening?"
Jeffries called the Terre Haute Police Department to help. Police found Jeffries car adbandoned on the side of the road all the way in Evansville.
Now, Jeffries says she has learned her lesson.
"It just wasn't locked up honestly," she said. "Make sure you don't leave anything in your cars and make sure everything is locked up."
Jeffries isn't alone. Ryan Adamson is a Terre Haute police officer. He says car thefts can happen anywhere and to anyone.
Adamson says car thefts happen especially during the holidays when everyone is out shopping for gifts. He warns people to be extra cautious around the mall and other shopping centers. These are the places they see most car thefts occur.
"It definitely increases during the holidays," Adamson said.
Adamson says thieves are simply just walking around checking for unlocked handles rather than breaking in.
"90 percent of the time people just walk up and down checking door handles," Adamson said.
It's a reminder to all this holiday season to keep valuables out of sight.
"There is no reason to leave your christmas presents sitting out in the open," Adamson said. "Just put stuff in your trunk and put blankets over it."
If you happen to spot a car theft, police urge you to call Terre Haute Police at 812-238-1661 so they can further investigate.