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91 cars broken into during last month in Pensacola
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Pensacola Police say car burglaries are up. Ninety-one cars were broken into just this month alone.
This morning Pensacola Police officers caught three suspected car thieves, Treniqua Hollinger, Maurissa Atkins and Maurice Atkins.
They are each facing several charges including nine vehicle burglaries and one residential burglary.
Still at large, Tonjas Dixon and Lucas Jenkins. Both are wanted for car burglary and grand theft.
Police say it's a crime of opportunity.
In many of the cases, cars were left unlocked, and the thieves helped themselves.
We spoke to a victim today who says the lesson is always lock your door, and not leave valuables inside.
East Hill looks like any Pensacola neighborhood.
Cars pass through. Mailboxes line the street. And pets sit on porches.
Cathy Moore has lived here more than two years and says it's easy to feel safe.
"It's a relatively quiet neighborhood, we don't have people hanging around," said victim Cathy Moore.
That's why she leaves her car doors unlocked some nights.
Last night, her daughter left her iPod on the dashboard and it caught someone's eyes.
It was taken along with some CDs.
"I said no way. That was my first reaction," Moore said.
"It's personal only because it's a gift from my brother. But it's materialistic, everything can be replaced," said Moni Moore.
Police have noticed the growing number of burglaries for the past three months.
Since then, they've increased patrols in certain neighborhoods and sent officers out in plain clothes.
"I think it's individuals because of the economy now, that's really what I think it is," said neighbor Daniel Hoosier.
Cathy Moore hopes police can find the stuff stolen from her car.
But more importantly, she hopes her story can give car owners a dose of reality.
"We've been lulled into a false sense of security that we think it's not going to happen to us, it' not going to happen to us out here and it did," said Cathy Moore.
Police believe Wednesday's arrests may be linked to about 20 burglary cases.
It's also too early to say if it's a group or several groups that's responsible for the thefts.