CORAL SPRINGS, FL – In the past five weeks, police responded to at least 45 car break-ins in Coral Springs, records show.

The car burglaries occurred throughout the city and at different times of the days, often with victims not realizing their belongings were stolen from their cars until hours later or even the next day or longer.

During a period between March 25 to March 31, 15 cars were hit, many of them in the Riverside Drive and Royal Palm area, records show. Police arrested at least one person in connection with stealing cash, gift cards, debit and credit cards, photo IDs, a GoPro, a flashlight, and a handgun, police said.

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And on April 4, two people allegedly stole a car from the Golden Bay section of Wyndham Lakes, drove off and crashed it, and then ran off, police said. The incident started when the two people broke into an unlocked car and stole the key to another car at the same house.

The number of recent car break-ins isn’t a cause for concern, considering there are nearly 40,000 households in Coral Springs, police said.

Coral Springs police review crime trends regularly and set up extra patrols in neighborhoods when there are occasional spikes in incidents.  

“Coral Springs is a safe community,” said Brad McKeone, the city’s deputy police chief. “These are crimes of opportunity when people leave their car doors unlocked.”

McKeone said his department does a lot of public educating about the importance of locking cars and not leaving any valuables in plain sight. Officers have distributed flyers in the parking lots of gyms and shopping centers. Police have also posted warnings on digital street signs and across social media channels.

For the most part, car break-in crimes aren’t the stuff of crafty criminal masterminds, according to a Nationwide Insurance analysis.

Smash-and-grab incidents are generally done by “casual opportunists.” Most thieves go solo. 

In addition, the article said: “Thieves are also lazy. With car break-ins, they’re usually not looking for a huge payoff. What this type of thief wants is a quick thrill – or maybe a little extra revenue – for as little work as possible.”

In Coral Springs, the car break-ins continue even through the coronavirus outbreak when residents are supposed to stay at home.

McKeone said he encourages residents to make sure their cars are locked, no matter where they are or what time of day it is.

“Just make it a routine to lock the doors,” he said.