LAFAYETTE PARISH La., (KLFY) – Across Acadiana, law enforcement has seen a dramatic increase in car burglaries.
In Youngsville alone, investigators have worked an upwards of 150 break-ins this year, most of them in well-lit neighborhoods.
With car burglaries happening more often than ever, people need to take every precaution when it comes to protecting their property.
“Car burglaries across the parish have been on an increase. It’s not like it used to be with a girl and do one car and leave, now they come in with groups. They drop them off and they just go down the street just pulling on car doors. As soon as they find an unlocked car they are in it, take what they get and they’re out. They leave quickly,” said Youngsville Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux.
Boudreaux added: “What we’ve learned from the trains that have happened around here is number one most importantly people to lock their cars. Number two don’t leave your valuables out in plain sight. We have laptops taken, you had guns taken, [and] we had purses taken. You just either take your valuables inside or hide them and lock them in the car.”
When guns are stolen it creates a major safety issue for the entire city. Investigators say it could possibly put a gun on the street in the hands of a felon who couldn’t buy a weapon legally.
“We had an incident in May where they got down and started going through cars, they got a gun they had a gun in their hand as they were going up to the cars waiting for someone to come out the house or for the police to pull up. So then it goes to the bad side, then the guy pulls up on, one of the officers pulls up and he doesn’t know what his point to point, except a car burglary and the next thing he knows he’s in a gun battle,” Boudreaux recalled.
In New Iberia, several cars were broken into and the burglars were armed with handguns. Surveillance cameras around the neighborhood captured multiple images of the thieves who were dressed in dark hoodie’s, gloves, and masks.
Homeowner Eric Haik witnessed through surveillance footage from his personal security system burglars ravaging through his truck and walking around his well-lit house at night.
“It was very alarming in that one of the perpetrators was armed with a pistol by walking through my yard, while looking for my vehicle. And the most alarming thing was that if I would have confronted him someone would’ve been hurt if not killed,” Haik said.
Haik shared his videos on Facebook in hopes of helping catch the criminals.
“The video has been shown to a number of people, and everyone has the same response. It’s just very chilling to know someone is sneaking around your house armed and dangerous and ready to do damage if necessary, Haik said.
Boudreaux said he has been seeing more and more people set up surveillance cameras at their houses because of these break-ins.
He recommended if you do catch people on your surveillance cameras to call the police first before putting it to Facebook.
It gives law enforcement more time to find and arrest these criminals before they see themselves on Facebook and go underground.