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Cruces police find lots of unlocked doors in overnight operation

An image of the type of door hanger left by Las Cruces police during operation “Oops, I Left My Car Unlocked. (Source: LCPD)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Amid an 8% increase in auto burglaries, Las Cruces police officers strolled through several neighborhoods overnight looking to see who was lax in locking their vehicles.

The results: 42 people Wednesday morning were welcomed with a filled-out door hanger telling them it was “noticed your vehicle was left unlocked” or some other such message.

“(Las Cruces Police Department) officers secured the vehicles,” the agency said in a news release, with the door hangers “serving as a reminder to properly secure property.”

The effort was part of operation “Oops, I Left My Car Unlocked,” a proactive, auto burglary prevention initiative, LCPD said.

“The overwhelming majority of auto burglaries reported in Las Cruces are considered crimes of opportunity as vehicle owners left cars unlocked or with items of value in plain view,” police said.

Through March 2019, 144 auto burglaries were reported to LCPD, an increase from the 133 reported through the same period last year.

Along with dozens of unlocked cars, patrol officers working the graveyard shift also found one garage door open and one home with an open door. One of the unlocked vehicles still had the keys in the ignition.