Cars are being broken into in the city at an alarming rate over the past few weeks, according to the Wichita Falls Police Department.
From May 7th through May 20th, authorities say they received 35 reports of car burglaries and they want residents to remain vigilant.
During the investigation police found that of those reports, handguns were taken in a quarter of the burglaries.
No matter where he goes, Kevin Ermis says he keeps valuables hidden and his truck locked.
“You’re hearing all of these thieves and rash of burglaries going on. Well I myself, I keep my doors locked at all times. I keep my car locked at all times,” Ermis said.
Upon further investigation of the 35 burglaries reported, police found out a total of 45 vehicles were broken into. From those burglaries, 12 firearms were stolen, keeping residents like Ermis alert.
“If you get them in the wrong person’s hands and they take somebody’s life with it, you can consider yourself as accessible to the fact that somebody is gone,” Ermis said.
“The last thing you want to see is that property in the hands of a criminal that then takes that firearm that is yours and uses it to commit some type of a felony crime and heaven forbid someone is hurt.” Sgt. Harold McClure says several of the burglaries were reported along Southwest Parkway. None with signs of forced entry but he says it’s a crime of opportunity that can happen anywhere.
“They’re simply walking around looking for unlocked cars,” McClure said. “If they find that the car door is locked they move on to an easier target.”
McClure says it’s as simple as locking vehicles and hiding any belongings. If you’re a victim of the crime, he says know your serial numbers on possessions such as firearms, electronics or other devices.
“Even if they’re at home, in the driveway, lock your car. Even if it’s in the garage. If you have it parked in the garage, doesn’t hurt to lock your car,” McClure said.
The rash of burglaries are still under investigation. You are asked to call WFPD if you have any information on the crimes.