San Diego

Scavenger Thieves Targeting Unlocked Cars in Vista: Deputies

Deputies believe the thieves walk car-to-car to find doors that are left unlocked

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) is investigating five separate reports of car break-ins in Vista.

A sergeant with the department said all the break-ins occurred at night and were most likely done by scavenger thieves.

Deputies believe the thieves walk car-to-car to find doors that are left unlocked and grab anything they can out of them.

Vista resident Alanna Durkee said that she woke up Sunday morning to her car ransacked.

“Everything was ripped out and thrown all over my car," Durkee said. When she walked out of her home and saw her open, she knew something wasn’t right.

“The first thing that went to my head was "No this can’t be happening," Durkee added.

An unexpected start to her morning, soon to be a devastating one. Durkee is a photographer and travels often. She leaves her cameras in her backseat.

“Film that’s in the cameras, like, I’ll never get to see any of that and that’s what I’m really bummed about,” she said.

Durkee isn't the only one targeted in her cul-de-sac.

“The same night a neighbor up the street and a neighbor right next door had their cars broken into and they didn’t file a police report because they didn’t have valuables taken," Durkee said.

Her insurance didn’t cover her stolen items, but she’s hoping to soon replace them with help from the community.

Durkee set up a Go Fund Me page where folks can donate to help her replace her valuable equipment.

In the meantime, says she’s learned her lesson.

“My biggest lesson is don’t leave anything in your car, number one, no matter how safe you feel."

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