Police advise drivers to secure belongings after rash of car break-ins

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WESTWOOD, Kan. -- A recent rash of car break-ins at health clubs and country clubs have police in northeast Johnson County warning drivers not to leave valuables in plain sight.

Thieves broke into ten cars earlier this month outside the Woodside Racquet Club.

Fitness facilities across the metro area are reporting more car break-ins. In many cases, people are coming from work, or going to work, when they stop at the club, and have phones, laptops and other devices with them in their vehicles.

Shorter days this time of year means it's getting dark earlier and that makes it easier for thieves to strike.

Police say drivers can help them by hiding or removing all valuables before you leave for the club.

If you must keep technology or other valuables in the car, lock them in a trunk or hidden storage compartment.

"It is absolutely a crime of opportunity," said Greg O'Halloran, Westwood police chief. "We are encouraging people to make the interior of their car look like it came out of the factory. You don't want to have cell phones, chargers, portable GPS, wallets, purses, clothes, anything a person would look at and say, 'Hey, maybe there's something of value.' Just make it as clean as you can."

Police are looking for a gray Mazda 6 sedan, between a 2003 to 2008 model year, that they suspect is involved in some of the break-ins.

As always, if you see anything suspicious, you should report it to police.