In the month of January, the Chapel Hill Police Department reported a substantial increase in the number of vehicle break-ins when compared to previous years.
The police department reported 51 incidents of larceny from vehicles in January 2017. Normally, they report around 15 to 20 vehicle break-ins in the month of January, according to a statement from the town of Chapel Hill.
Capt. Joshua Mecimore, spokesperson for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said he isn't sure why this January was so different.
“Couldn’t tell you, unless we find someone responsible, I couldn’t tell you,” Mecimore said.
The items stolen included one tablet, two GPS units, eight laptops, six wallets and 11 pocketbooks.
Mecimore called the thefts "crimes of opportunity," meaning that thieves seize the opportunity when they see a laptop or pocketbook is left in a car.
“It takes just a split second to take items of value out of a car and run,” he said.
Mecimore said he recommends that people lock their cars and take valuable items out of the car or place them in the trunk.