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Woman shares story as reminder to not leave valuables in car

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:14 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A warning for shoppers comes again as we head into the holiday season: Don’t leave valuables in your car. About this time each year, police issue that reminder that even if your car is locked, that’s not enough to thwart thieves who want to get their hands on someone else’s gifts.

Martha Sanchez shared her story after a thief came up to her house in the middle of the night and broke into her car in the driveway.

“They broke in and left glass everywhere,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said her driveway is well lit, so even with the relative safety of being at home, “don’t think it can’t happen to you.”

Inside the car was her partner’s suitcase filled with clothes worth several hundred dollars. Sanchez said the thief also stole her credit card, charging $100 at Quik Trip. That doesn’t include the new window she had to pay for and get fixed.

“About $500 they just cost us for being selfish,” Sanchez said.

Such thefts can happen anywhere, especially when thieves know gifts are common and easy to find.

“It sucks cause it’s around the holidays too. So, you know, it’s going to be more prevalent,” Sanchez said.

Experts say if you plan on Christmas shopping, make sure you can go home right after you buy those gifts. That’s so you can have them in a safe place and if you must run other errands, they’re not sitting in your car.

If you’re not able to get home right after shopping, a better alternative is to put the gifts in your trunk and of course, make sure your car is locked.

‘It’s kind of an invasion of our privacy, like that’s not fair for someone to just come and see something and be like, ‘that’s mine now,’” Sanchez said. “That’s not how it works. We work hard for our stuff.”

She said she’s going to invest in cameras. Her message to others is to always bring in your valuables, no matter where you’re parked.

“Just take the extra five minutes to take it in with you,” Sanchez said.

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