Dozens of vehicle burglaries are being reported city-wide in Slidell.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter talked to police and property owners who are now on guard.
There’s been an uptick in vehicle burglaries in Slidell.
“Hope it doesn’t happen to me,” homeowner Herb Babington said.
It happened last month to Karen Montelepre.
She found out when police knocked on her door.
“The car wasn’t damaged but the trunk was opened and the glove box and all of that had been opened and rifled through,” Montelepre said.
And she wasn’t alone. Police say more than a dozen cars were burglarized nearby.
Many of the crimes happened on the same night.
Investigators believe different groups of teenagers are doing what’s called “car hopping.”
The crimes are happening in the late night and early morning hours.
“So they go through the neighborhood specifically targeting unlocked cars. So they go through and pull on every door handle in the neighborhood,” Slidell Detective Dan Seuzeneau said. “They get two, three, four guys and walk through the neighborhood, pull door handles and they may make out with two guns, a couple of laptops, an iPad, cell phone, wallets, money. Who knows.”
Police say 99.9 percent of the burglaries could have been prevented; because nearly all of them happened when doors were left unlocked.
“You really need to know better,” neighbor Mike Tremble said. “Need to lock your car.”
Mike Tremble says the teenagers need to do better too.
“Get a job. “Find something constructive to do. “There are other things better ways to spend your time than going around stealing from other people.”
Slidell Police have increased patrols in hardest hit neighborhoods; including patrols of undercover officers.
Several arrests have already been made.