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Keeping car locked could keep your entire house safe

Kissimmee neighborhood experiences string of car break-ins

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Kissimmee police are out with a warning: leaving your car door unlocked, could unlock your entire house.

But not all residents are heeding that warning.

Since late February, we found at least eight unlocked cars broken-into in the Oaks Golf Club and Community. Four of the break-ins occurred on the same day, March 2, 2012, and on the same street, The Oaks Boulevard.

"We call it non-forced entry or victim assisted crimes, because basically as a victim, I'm assisting you to steal my property by not locking your doors," said Kissimmee Police spokeswoman, Stacie Miller.

A gun, GPS, and sunglasses were all stolen from the cars, but in two cases, garage door openers were also taken then used to open the doors.

"Do you lock the door that goes from your house into your garage? Most people don't," Miller said.

Kissimmee police say in those cases nothing appeared missing from the garages, but they warn the thieves are bold. Many of the garages were opened at night when residents could have been home and heard the door open.

According to Kissimmee Police reports, thieves also targeted a car in a gated section of the neighborhood. In that case, the crooks found a house key in the unlocked car.

They used that key to unlock the front door to the house and stole a Play Station 3 and $3,000.

Neighbor Verle Cox works on cars in his garage. He lives across the street from a soft-top Pontiac convertible that was broken into. When we showed up, it still appeared to be unlocked. Cox says he and many other soft-top owners are afraid to lock their car doors, in case thieves cut the roofs.

"Vandalism is what it really is, it's not even theft," said Cox. "A few CDs is nothing. $1,000 for a new top is what hurts people."

"You should never leave your car door unlocked and you should never leave anything in your car," Miller said.

So far, no arrests have been made in the break-ins. Police found some fingerprints, but unless the crooks are already in the database, it's impossible to find a match.


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