CALIFORNIA—The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is warning residents of car burglaries during the holiday season. One county in particular sent a message through social media on Saturday, November 21.

Officials from the CHP in Marin County warned residents of vehicle break-ins in a lengthy Facebook post noting that it only takes criminals “5-10 seconds to break into the vehicle, grab everything they want, and flee the scene before anybody” finds out.

There are several tips that officials have advised residents of which includes never leaving any of your belongings in the car where people can see it.  Even though the driver knows that there is nothing of value, burglars do not. So as long as burglars see something, they will still “shatter out the window to get it.”

Another tip is to always lock your car.  The CHP strongly advises residents to lock their car because it is common to “see a person walking through a neighborhood at night” to pull “every door handle they pass.”  If the door opens, robbers will grab anything they see.

Officials are warning that “the ability to open your garage door with an opener will give them access to a whole new world of items to abscond with.”

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vehicle is stolen every 40.9 seconds in America.  The state of California had the most vehicles stolen in 2017.

The number of stolen vehicles has been gradually declining since the 1990s. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) said that 1.7 million vehicles were stolen in 1991, compared to 2017, where that number has gone down to less than 800,000.