Some Palm Beach County parks see uptick in car smash and grabs

Thieves watch victims leave valuables

SUBURBAN BOCA RATON, Fla. - Thieves aren't randomly breaking into cars hoping to find something of value at Palm Beach County parks any more. Victims are letting them know when something is left behind.

"Sometimes I don't even lock the car, I trust the world and I should not," says Joyce Miller, a Boca Raton resident.

Miller admits she needs to be more careful with her purse, especially now that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says thieves are watching.

"They know because they watch you leave the car not carrying your handbag and with movements you make in the car, that you've probably left something behind and they'll smash the window," says Captain Matt Eisenberg, with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

South Inlet Park at the beach has seen its fair share of car burglaries, detectives say two to three per week. Coconut Cove Water Park has had more than 10 this summer.

At South Inlet Park Friday about half of visitors left their valuables in the trunk, or in the car for everyone to see. They thought they hid it.

"My wallet, my GPS. Now that I hear about this I won't leave anything of value in my car," says Ashley Davies, visiting from Coral Springs.

"When I hide it, I just don't think it will happen to me," says Tricia Sims.

We made sure they went back for their stuff before going to the park.

"Especially at the beach, you don't expect that. It's a happy, free for all time," says Miller.

Park visitors may not expect it, but posted signs tell them to anticipate it. If you heed the warning, detectives say it can put thieves out of business.

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