In just two weeks, there have been over 100 car burglaries within Lafayette Parish. And local law enforcement is now asking for the public's help finding who is responsible. Both the Lafayette Police Department and the Sheriff's Office are working the cases and say it's an unusually high number.
Since September 13th, there have been 92 car burglaries within the city and 39 outside the city limits. Those numbers are definitely alarming, but authorities say it's all a crime of opportunity.
"One of the things we say here is, if you like it, lock it," said Captain Kip Judice with the Lafayette Sheriff's Office.
And those are words of advice hundreds of Lafayette residents are now wishing they had followed, after a string of vehicle break-ins. While this type of crime is not uncommon, the recent spike in back-to-back break-ins is.
"We will experience car burglaries at different times of the year each week, but to have that many in a two week period is extremely large number of car burglaries," said Corporal Paul Mouton with the Lafayette Police Department.
Police say they go around at night checking for unlocked door handles just looking for that lucky break. The majority of burglaries are at apartment complexes and driveways, tempted by objects in plain sight. But, that doesn't always stop the curiosity.
"They do take time to rummage through glove compartments and will look under seats, but they're really trying to get in there and get out of the vehicle as soon as possible," said Mouton.
And that quick act is what is making it hard to find out who is responsible.
"Often times with these types of cases, when a person reaches into a car, very little evidence is left behind," said Judice. "Whatever they're touching they're taking so it's not easily linked by finger prints or other physical evidence."
Judice says they think two or three groups of people may be involved. And as far as victim's belongings, there's no guarantee they'll ever recover their things, but police do try to track down as much as they can.
"With the information that the victim gives us and keep all the information on that particular item, we're able to check pawn shops, second hand dealers things of that nature," said Mouton.
Authorities say these burglaries are occurring between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. And they're taking mostly electronics and spare change.
If you think you see any suspicious activity or anything out of the ordinary, you're urged to call crime stoppers and 232-TIPS.
The suspects in most cases are only taking loose items from unlocked vehicle doors and not causing any damages or taking anything from locked vehicles. All of Lafayette Parish has been affected by these types of crime and trends of this sort have affected citizens throughout Acadiana and the entire region.
Deputies are asking citizens to double check that their vehicles are locked prior to retiring for the night and to report suspicious persons or vehicle in the late evening hours and early morning hours.