Police report a 20 percent increase in car burglaries in February and March, compared to the same period last year.
There were 76 total during the two-month span, and half of the targeted cars were unlocked with valuable things sitting in the seats, in plain sight, according to a statement by the Pleasanton Police Department.
"The Pleasanton Police Department considers auto burglary a priority and a focus for officers patrolling local neighborhoods and detectives following up on leads," Officer Archie Chu wrote in the statement.
However, he said there are things people can do to protect their cars and other property.
Here are easy, common sense tips:
* Keep your car locked at all times and use your car alarm if you have one.
* Do not leave any valuables in your car.
* If you have valuables, discretely lock them in your trunk before you arrive at your destination. Burglars will wait in parking lots and watch as you place your valuables into your trunk.
* A purse, shopping bags, GPS device, satellite radio, cell phone and even coins in the center console may tempt a thief to smash your car window and steal them.
* Record serial numbers to all electronics and keep them stored in a safe place. There is a greater chance of locating stolen property and developing leads with detailed identifying information.
* Consider installing a surveillance camera overlooking your driveway or the front of your house.
* Residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 immediately about all suspicious activity.
"Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed if your suspicions are wrong; think instead about what could happen if your suspicions are right and you don't call," Chu writes.
"It is the Police Department’s job to investigate suspicious matters, and any assistance in spotting suspicious persons or activities is appreciated."
For more information, please call the Pleasanton Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at (925) 931-5233 or log onto http://www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/services/police/prevention/.