San Diego

Sheriff's Deputies Warn of Holiday Car Theft

 Shoppers heading out to pick up holiday gifts this season may fall victim to car thieves, and officials are working to help make residents more aware of theft. 

San Diego County Sheriff's deputies with the Rancho San Diego substation handed out fliers Tuesday, making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to holiday shopping this year. 

Deputies recommend always locking car doors, rolling up windows, carrying your purse in front of you and close to your chest, and shopping with a friend. 

Shoppers said they have heard the warning time and time again, but sometimes as they hurry, they forget.

"I've left it in the bag, when I go into another store, I try to put it on the floor, but sometimes I forget and it's on the seat where they can see it easier," said shopper Sue Klassen. "That's not smart." 

Other shoppers said exercising caution is a priority. 

"I try to keep (my car) locked up, I don't leave anything out that someone would want to take," said Ron Bergman. 

Sheriff's deputies were also handing out free steering wheel locks for some of the top vehicles that suffer break-ins: Honda Civics, Honda Accords, a Toyota or Nissan pickup truck and a Jeep Wrangler. 

Store owners also received signs to put in their window to warn thieves officials are keeping their eyes on them. 

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