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Columbia apartment complexes warn against car break-ins

Columbia area apartment complexes are warning residents to take precautions against car break-ins after nearly 700 have been reported in the city since January.

Columbia police sent a release in October that stated 655 car break-ins had been reported. That number is 207 more than the same time last year.

CPD advised the first thing residents can do to prevent themselves from being a victim is to lock their doors and hide or remove any valuable from the car.

“These thefts are opportunistic crimes,” the release said. “Thieves will walk through neighborhoods or parking lots and check car doors. Valuables left in plain view inside a vehicle can make that vehicle more of a target.”

This is also the time of year when more people may begin warming up their cars before leaving their home for work or school. Police advice against this practice, as it makes it that much easier for thieves to steal items from your car or even your vehicle itself.

The hundreds of car break-ins have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen property and nearly 100 stolen guns.

CPD reported citizens have had more then $332,000 worth of property and 99 guns and/or firearm accessories stolen this year. In some of the gun thefts, more than one firearm was stolen.

Police encourage residents to report anything suspicious to the non-emergency line, (573) 442-6131 or on their website,

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