Jackson County, Ore. — As the temperatures spike, so do car break-ins.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says if your valuables are hidden, thieves are much less likely to target your car.
Therefore, it’s recommended to put your belongings in compartments before you even drive to where you want to go.
“When the weather’s nice like this… I get out here probably at least once a month,” Brett Harwood said.
In his spare time, Brett Harwood likes to go for runs around Jackson County.
Most often, that means parking in areas with many other vehicles left unattended.
That’s where theft can be an issue.
“It’s a thieve’s haven basically,” Harwood said.
Sergeant Julie Denney with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says vehicle theft is often more common in the summer months as people park at hiking trails, and boat ramps.
“People are out and about more. They’re leaving their windows down in their vehicles, they may leave their doors unlocked, and that gives thieves the opportunity to access the vehicles,” Sergeant Denney said.
In addition to locking your vehicle, Sgt. Denney says it’s good practice to put your valuables inside your trunk before you arrive at your destination.
“We’ve talked to criminals in the past and they will say that they will park and just wait for somebody to leave and they’ll see a woman put her purse into the trunk,” Sgt. Denney said.
According to Sgt. Denney, most of the time it’s a crime of opportunity, which means the thieves will only target your vehicle if it’s easy.
“They are just looking for open windows and open doors because they don’t want to attract attention by breaking windows,” Sgt. Denney said.
After a couple of bad experiences in the past, Harwood says he leaves his important belongings at home.
“Nothing’s ever secure proof, but you can do things to protect yourself,” Harwood said.
Sgt. Denney says these crimes tend to go in waves, with thieves focusing on one area before moving to the next.