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Gilbert residents fear personal information stolen after car break-ins

Posted at 10:15 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 13:00:02-04

Police are investigating a string of car break-ins in the East Valley that seem to go beyond the norm. 

Thieves hit more than a dozen cars in Gilbert over the weekend. Several victims told us they didn't lose any big items, but instead, something much more personal.

Alyssa Orong told ABC15 that her car's registration was pulled out of her glove box and sitting on the passenger seat as if someone was snapping a picture. She said the same thing happened to her mom and neighbor. She's worried the bad guys now have all their personal information.

"I'm very terrified of that. Somebody actually has a copy of my name, address, VIN number of my car," said Orong.

If it's really registrations the criminals are after, police agree it's a big problem.

We saw a similar story two years ago in Mesa. At that time, Mesa police told ABC15 that car information thefts have been linked to residential burglaries later on. 

This time around, Gilbert police confirmed about 15 cars were broken into around Greenfield and Warner roads. So far there are no suspects.

Orong said she's now holding her breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Instead of hotwiring it like in the movies, they could actually be stealing your information, calling the manufacturer and saying, 'I need a spare car key,"' said Orong. 

Insurance experts and law enforcement say it's fine to have the car owner's manual in the glove box, but that's about it. They advise that you should never keep your title in the car, it should be locked up somewhere safe.

You should also avoid keeping the insurance and registration in the glove box. Those can go in a purse or wallet.  

In Arizona, it's legal to show officers a digital copy of your insurance.