The news spread around my Margate neighborhood this week that a family on my block had their car stolen. The people across the street from my house had their car ransacked the same night.

Although this isn't the first time car break-ins have been a problem in the neighborhood, it is rare enough that you are left with a somewhat false sense of security that this kind of thing doesn't happen where you live.

It turns out that the rash of car thefts and break-ins isn't just on my block, it's become a city-wide problem lately.

Wednesday, Margate Police addressed the situation with a release on Facebook, offering a reason for the recent upsurge in car burglaries.

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People aren't locking their car doors.

The nexus in all of these cases have been unsecured vehicles or a key fob left in the vehicle. When your key fob is left in your vehicle it makes it as simple as lifting the handle to gain entry inside. Once inside, the actor(s) are rummaging through the vehicle for anything of value and, in some cases, the vehicle itself is stolen. Again, this is accomplished when a key fob is left inside and the “push to start” feature which is on most newer vehicles is pressed.

Almost all of the recent uptick in car thefts and burglaries have happened in the dark of the early morning hours and almost all the vehicles have been left unlocked for easy pickings for the crooks.

Police say many times money, wallets, purses, or things of value have been left in plain sight in the vehicles.

Why is this happening now? Again, the police have an educated guess.

The large influx of people in the summer months is always welcomed but unfortunately creates more of an opportunity for criminals to operate.

If you have been the victim of a car break-in, contact the MCPD at (609) 822-1151. If you happen to witness a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.

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