Crooks Targeting Local Trailheads For Vehicle Break-Ins

With the weather heating up, more and more people are going to be hitting the trails in the coming weeks.

Opportunistic crooks are also going to be getting outside--to prey on unsuspecting hikers and bikers at parks in and around the Springs.

Trailhead break-ins are becoming more and more common, and authorities say these crooks know what they're doing. Prowlers often case the parking lot, and will pick up on clues that indicate a person may be leaving their vehicle for awhile.

One woman whose car was broken into at Red Rock Canyon Open Space last summer said that she spent 10 minutes stretching at her car before taking off for a run that day. When she returned, her passenger window was shattered. Police told her later that she was probably being watched; thieves likely targeted her because they knew she was going running and probably wouldn't return to her car for at least 20 or 30 minutes.

There are ways to protect yourself before you hit the trails this summer. Police offer the following tips:

-Never hide your wallet or purse under the seat. Don't risk it. Take those items with you. If you absolutely cannot, put those items in your trunk.
-Keep your car as clean as possible; even clothes or a yoga mat should go into your trunk. Even if nothing of value is in your car, leaving any items in plain sight could inspire thieves to break in.
-If possible, park at a trailhead that's visible from the road or that generally has a lot of people around.

If you do fall victim to a break-in, police say to always report it. Police reports help officers to narrow in on crime patterns and trailheads more prone to criminal activity.