Asheville Police Department offers tips to prevent car break-ins

The Asheville Police Department is warning people to lock their cars. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The Asheville Police Department is warning people to lock their cars.

Police said break-ins are a problem they are constantly having to deal with.

"You can’t 100 percent prevent this crime," APD public information officer Christina Hallingse said.

Though you can’t 100 percent prevent it, there are some things you can do to deter it -- like locking your car.

"A lot of times, people are just going down the lines and pulling on door handles,” said Hallingse. “If your door is unlocked, you've made it incredibly easy for someone to break in to your vehicle."

Some people, like Lee Simon, who's never had a break-in, are a little more trusting.

"I don't roll up my windows, I don't lock my doors,” said Simon. “I don't know, there’s just nothing in my car to steal."

Simon said he's never had to worry about break-ins. Others haven't been as lucky.

"All you can do is make yourself less of an easy target and maybe they'll move on to somebody else," said Scott Wilkins, who has had a break-in.

Wilkins said, since the break-in, he always makes sure to lock his doors and remove valuables from plain sight.

Removing valuables from your car is another APD tip.

"If you aren't able to remove those from your vehicle, put them in your trunk or somewhere where they can’t be seen,” said Hallingse. “But our biggest suggestion is to take them out of your vehicle."

A lesson Zachary Landolt, another break-in victim, learned the hard way.

Landolt had $500 stolen from his center console.

He said he thought because he lived in a safe area he didn't have to worry about break-ins.

"People didn't worry about locking their houses or anything,” said Landolt. “It was a very safe street. Then, one day, I woke up and our cars had been ransacked, but we had not locked our doors."

During the winter, APD also suggests you don't walk away from your car in the morning when you start it to warm it up.

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