Lock your doors. Your car doors, that is.
If you've been reading the lately, you've probably noticed a . There were 87 car burglaries in 2009 and 55 in 2010. There have already been 86 this year, with more than a month to go before 2012 begins.
"We have seen in the last couple of months an uptick in car burglaries," said . "These things tend to be kind of cyclical."
, and other expensive valuables appear to be the targets for thieves who, according to Schwarz, stalk residential streets after dark looking for driveways with no lights on. They try opening cars until they find one that's unlocked and begin rummaging.
Schwarz referred to the car burglaries as "crimes of opportunity."
"There's two things that attract these kinds of burglars," Schwarz said. "Vehicles that are unlocked and valuables left in plain view or easily accessible through unlocked doors."
The police have amped up efforts to combat the burglaries, including new operational plans that have been put into effect during overnight shifts. Highland Park police recently arrested Highland Park resident , 20, after finding a document that belonged to him in one of the cars he allegedly burgled, according to Schwarz.
Among the items Daniels allegedly stole was a laptop belonging to Patch blogger and Lane Young from Young's car on Nov. 6.
He had left his doors unlocked.
"Obviously, I didn't do a fabulous job," Young said. He added he's been "extra conscientious" since the burglary.
Because of the arrest, Young is one of the few victims to get his stolen goods back. The hard drive on his Macbook, however, had already been totally wiped by the time it was returned to him.
"It was clear he was getting ready to resell it," Young said.
The deputy police chief advises residents to lock their car doors and bring their valuables into their houses.
"If we got everyone to work with us," Schwarz said. "There'd be a significant drop."