Police in Round Rock are warning parents about thieves targeting cars outside day care centers. Purses and valuables have been snatched in the seconds it took for parents to drop off or pick up their children.
The incidents took place in broad daylight and have been reported at two different day care centers.
"One of the incidents involved leaving the vehicle unlocked," said officer Dee Carver. "The parent said she came back and her purse was missing."
In a separate incident at a different day care, a thief broke a car window to steal a purse left on the front seat.
The smash-and-grab tactics make it easy for burglars to escape the scene without anyone noticing. Carver said these fast break-ins are also common at convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
"(People) want to run in leave their car running," Carver said, "and they'll leave their purse or cell phone in the front seat, and when they come back, it's gone."
Rhonda Davidson was surprised to hear about the burglaries. As owner of Mimi's Learning Center off Sam Bass Road, she said her teachers and staff are always looking out for suspicious activity or unknown vehicles on the property.
"We have video surveillance cameras," she said, "and we tell all the parents to keep their doors locked and take any valuables in with them when they're picking up the children."
Police have simple, but important instructions to avoid becoming a victim. Officers recommend you take time to put valuables away from sight, and always turn off the car and lock it.
Authorities also warned these types of incidents typically increase during the summer months.
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