Gainesville police: Smash and grab crime on the rise
Gainesville, Fla. —
Deborah Scott had only been in they gym for 15 minutes when she found out someone smashed the windows of her car and stole her purse.
"I ran out to my car and sure enough I had huge hole in the back rear driver's seat window. The only thing that was gone was my purse," Scott said.
The thieves used her credit card at two different Walmart stores and spent over a thousand dollars -- all in less than an hour.
"Everyone thinks card theft and things like this are victim less crimes but they're really not," Scott said. "This is costing me an exorbitant amount of money."
Gainesville police say they're seeing an increase in these types of crimes especially at gyms.
" In June alone we had 22 smash and grab burglaries all over the city. The common theme is that these are at daycares and fitness centers, especially at fitness centers because when people go to work out don't want to carry a lot of belongings," Officer Ben Tobias said. "So people know that purses and belongings are going to be left in vehicles."
Investigators say one of the best ways to ensure you don't become a victim is to remove all valuables from your car before going inside."
" The easiest thing to do is to lock your vehicle and remove all your stuff and the criminal will move on to the next vehicle," Tobias said.