KILLEEN (February 24, 2013)--More residents of this city have become victims of auto burglaries and left with even more costly damages.
There were about 1,400 auto burglaries in Killeen in 2011.
That number went up by 150 last year.
"It's not anyone's rights to take things that don't belong to them, but unfortunately there are some people who don't feel that way," said Carroll Smith with the Killeen Police Department.
Police said it's getting harder to catch the thieves.
More and more of them are getting in through the trunk lock or door handles.
"All doors have a component of rods and cables that operate the door: a lock, a latch, a handle, a lock cylinder for the key in the inside door handle, and that's what they're trying to get access to," said Chris Vogler, manager at Caliber Collision in Killeen.
Vogler said not only has the auto repair shop seen an increase in the number of burglarized cars but also more broken doors and locks than ever before.
Breaking into a car through the door handle or lock causes less noise but leaves more expensive damage.
"The cost of a vehicle being broken into the door area on a painted panel is much more significant than just breaking the glass," Vogler said.
"It can range any where from a couple hundred dollars if they just damage the lock cylinder itself, to several thousands depending on what's damaged."
Police are reminding drivers to lock their cars, remove valuables and check cars daily for any sign of damage.
"If you appreciate your property, you'll keep an eye on your property," Smith said.