Channel 2's Sophia Choi spoke with a victim who says he is now taking extra precautions.

Record high number of car break-ins reported in Brookhaven

A Brookhaven police officer recently compared finding car break-in suspects to “finding a needle in a haystack.”

Brookhaven police spokesman Officer Carlos Nino said September saw a record-breaking 110 reports of thefts from cars, about 75 percent of which were left unlocked or with keys still inside.

“It’s almost as if we’re fighting a losing battle,” Nino said. “That’s why we’ve got to let the public know.”

In August, 71 thefts from cars were reported, up from 41 in July, Nino said.

Brookhaven resident Derrick Grigsby told Channel 2 Action News he learned about the rash of thefts the hard way.

“I left my car unlocked. Boom stuff gone,” Grigsby said. “And that’s my fault you know. Suckers get used everyday.”

The police department is asking for residents’ help to stop the thieves.

A post on the police department’s Facebook page warns residents about the break-ins and advises people to bring all belongings inside and lock their car doors at all times.

Thieves have targeted hotel parking lots and homes in search of loose change, purses, laptops and guns.

“This year, for some reason, has been big,” Nino said. “And we’re not even at the holiday season yet.”

Nino said while it’s rare for thieves to find firearms, even one stolen gun on the streets is too many.

“That’s just another gun that can be used in a violent crime,” he said.

To combat the problem, Brookhaven police have increased patrols and are working with other police departments in the metro area.

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