Car theft spike in Old Cloverdale

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - One by one, Corporal Joshua Stokes stakes out parking lots across the city.

Today, it's feet on the ground in Old Cloverdale, canvassing apartment parking lots and leaving reminders for absent-minded drivers, before a burglar beats him to the punch.

Corporal Joshua Stokes, " I go around looking for unlocked vehicles.  Burglars will try to get pocket change, laptops, GPS devices, while make least amount of noise as possible."

The proof is in the numbers.  In Montgomery, 70% of cars targeted by burglars are easy pickings, they're unlocked.

Stokes says, "Its like picking candy from a baby."

In one parking lot, two cars fit the bill; unlocked and primed for a thief.  Corporal Stokes leaves a notice, and locks the doors.

Cloverdale resident Terah Phillips now fits the mold.  Days after a neighbor's car was stolen, she came home to find her vehicle ransacked.

"They snatched my stereo, my CD collection, a case of Coke, my GPS, sunglasses and car charger.  They even took my air vents."

Phillips points to the glass on the pavement from where the thieves smashed through her back passenger window.

While they didn't steal Phillips car, they took her sense of security.

"It just scared me, when I was driving to the car repair shop, all I could think about were complete strangers in my car.  My private space that I felt was safe."

Residents and police, attempting to get a handle on petty crime in Old Cloverdale.

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