OPPD: Nearly half of last year's auto burglaries were unlocked cars

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Police released surveillance video Wednesday hoping to stop a recent rash of car break-ins.

Over the weekend, thrives targeted several cars near 145th and Metcalf. Someone even set one car on fire.

Apart from the thieves, unlocked cars are the next biggest culprit. In the last few weeks, Overland Park police got 48 reports of car burglaries. Most of those cars were unlocked. Last year, police say almost 300 car break-ins got traced back to unlocked cars. That adds up to almost half of the car break-ins for 2013.

"I'm guilty of it too!" admitted Katie Pettus who lives in the targeted neighborhood.

We tested the three cars in her driveway Wednesday. After a weekend of burglaries, they were all locked. She and other neighbors admit people are being more careful.

Police hope that's true. To help, they've been leaving more flyers than usual on car windshields. The 'If I were a thief' flyers are meant to be a wake-up call. Police check out random cars and give them a passing grade or point out what makes that car attractive to thieves on the flyer.

If you recognize the people in the surveillance photos, contact Overland  Park police. 

Does it surprise you that almost 300 stolen cars were left unlocked last year? Do you ever leave your car unlocked or valuables in plain view? Weigh in on our Facebook page.

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