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Holiday shoppers' vehicles tantalizing target at malls, markets

Jilbert Ebrahimi
Shattered windshield glass.

More and more people are braving malls and other marketplaces for holiday shopping. But authorities warn that theft is also likely to increase.

It’s not uncommon to make repeat trips to your vehicle while shopping, especially if you’ve an armful of presents. But Jananina Rager of the Eugene Police Department says you might be watched by crooks, eager to break into your car.

"If it absolutely comes to where you have to put things in your car, I would recommend: put the stuff in your car, get in your car, drive somewhere in the parking lot so it looks like you’re just arriving so that people aren’t seeing you put that stuff in and then walking away.”

Rager also warns against leaving your garage door opener in plain sight, which can lead to another heist…at home.

“They’ll break out the window, get the garage door opener…guess what else is in your car? Your registration with your address, now they’ve just given them access to know that you’re not home because you’re out shopping, and that gives them to go spend time themselves shopping at your house.”

Stolen documentation can also lead to identity theft and fraud committed in your name.

Copyright @2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.