Atlanta police cracking down on criminals stealing from cars

Atlanta police say they're cracking down on thieves stealing from cars and they've already made significant arrests.

Police say they've seen a spike in thefts from autos in East Atlanta. Now their Crime Suppression Unit is making the crime their top priority.

"They moved officers on multiple shifts to target just thefts from autos," said Atlanta Police Officer Steve Avery.

In one week, officers arrested eight people. They range from juveniles to a man in his 50s. Most are repeat offenders.

"One of the juveniles, since his arrest he's been charged with 16 more crimes related to breaking into cars," said Officer Avery.

Last week, police arrested three men driving a stolen car and breaking into vehicles outside a shopping complex. They're charged with multiple counts of entering autos and obstruction of officers.

Sometimes the crooks just flip handles until they get lucky and find an unlocked car. Other times, they smash the windows to get inside. Police say as long as valuables are left in vehicles, thieves will continue to strike.

"Don't leave anything in the car that looks like its valuable. Don't leave firearms in the car, take them with you when you get out," said Officer Avery.