In the last month, the Spanish Springs area has seen a sharp increase in burglaries.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has increased patrols, but wants residents to know there are a number of things you can do too.
Deputies say criminals use a technique called "car shopping." Instead of smashing windows and creating noise, they simply walk through neighborhoods and just pull on handles to see if the door is open.
In the last four weeks, 19 burglaries have been reported across neighborhoods in the area. Compare that to just 21 burglaries in the previous 12 months combined.
Deputies say they are following leads and evidence related to the previous burglaries. They aren't sure if it's adults or juveniles committing the crimes. The say by using the "car shopping" technique, burglars can make contact with 300 vehicles in just two hours.
"If they find one, two, or even more vehicles left unlocked, find some loose change, maybe some ID's, maybe somebody left a credit card," says Deputy Armando Avina with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. "A lot of people may leave their laptop computers."
Deputies say there are several ways to keep yourself from becoming the next victim.
The first may seem obvious, but be sure to lock your door when leaving the car. Also, make sure you set the car alarm or anti-theft devices.
Deputies say don't let your kids play with the auto-lock devices because they could push buttons and accidentally unlock the car.
And finally, keep windows completely closed so criminals don't have an entry point to break in.
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