Auto burglary victim learns lesson the hard way

Auto burglary victim learns lesson the hard way

TYLER (KYTX) -  Two men finally arrested, accused of burglarizing at least 35 cars in Tyler and Kilgore. 

Police say the two used a variety of tactics to steal electronics, personal paperwork, guns and money from cars. 

They say the first thing these burglars will always do is try to open the door to see if it's unlocked. If it's not they'll peer through the window to look for valuables, and if they see any, they'll break your window to get in. 

One of the 35 victims admits she made some mistakes, but has learned her lesson.

Carolyn James usually parks her car in the garage, but a couple weekends ago, she left it out in the driveway.

"It was cool that evening, hurried home, got out of the car and ran in the house!" she says.

The next day, her daughter went to get in the car.

"She noticed that the door over by the driver's seat was open just a little bit," James says.

So was the center console, and the glove compartment. Missing from them was a stack of insurance paperwork, and James' GPS.

"I think if the GPS had been stolen and it weren't a sentimental item to me, it probably wouldn't have bothered me as much, but my husband gave it to me, and he passed away about two years ago," James says.

That's why she was relieved when Tyler Police arrested 23-year-old Jonathan Burkett and 20-year-old Jeremy Junkins for the burglaries.

"Oh my gosh I couldn't believe it! We're used to living in larger cities, and I'd just written it off that I'd never see it again!"

She also got all her personal papers back.

"I didn't realize how much paperwork they had taken and I was told this was something they could have later sold to people who wanted information," she says.

She says she'll have to start checking her accounts for fraud, and from now on, she'll be keeping her car safe in the garage.

"If you're in a hurry, that's the time you really need to make sure that you lock your car!" James warns.

She says she's thankful her story had a happy ending.

The majority of these specific burglaries happened at people's homes or apartment complexes late at night while they were sleeping.

Police say it may seem like a pain, but it might be worth it to take your paperwork, electronics, and bags inside every time you get home for the night. Plus, like James says, don't forget to lock that car!


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