Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Police warn residents to make sure their valuables aren't sitting out in their cars this time of year.
There have been 445 car break-ins reported in Richardson this year, with 84 in University Park and 57 reports in Highland Park.
While those numbers are actually down year to date compared to last year, according to officers, this is the time the numbers start to spike.
Officers say it can take mere seconds to break into a car and run off with your valuables.
“We've had residents call in and say they see someone in their car," said Det. Marty Nevin with the Highland Park Police Department. "As soon as we get around the corner, I mean it might be 10 seconds, but the suspect is already gone, took them three seconds!”
Police say the incidents are happening outside homes and businesses -- wherever a car is left unattended.
Rochelle Armstrong of Dallas, recalls having her car broken into. “I felt violated, hurt,” she said.
Armstrong's car was hit outside a Sears store in South Dallas. Her laptop and GPS were both stolen. The thieves smashed her back window to get to it all.
Armstrong's best piece of advice? “Get insurance and make sure it’s up to date,” she says.