KMIR6 Investigates a Surge in Vehicle Break-ins
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM DESERT--Cars being broken into across the Coachella Valley. It’s left some people with thousands of dollars in damages and little help, so they contacted KMIR6 news.
From parking garages with security guards at high-end hotels in Palm Desert to employee parking lots behind businesses in Palm Springs. KMIR6 investigates a surge in vehicle break-ins across the valley and what's being done about it.
Tiffany Yuan is one of the victims of recent vehicle vandalism. She says crooks caused more than $2600 dollars in damage to her Volvo.
“If something had happened to me, if I had surprised a thief with a crowbar attempting grand theft auto, he would not have hesitated to hurt me,” Yuan said.
She thought her car was safe in guest parking at the JW Marriott Desert Springs, but she says 6 other similar incidents of vehicle break-ins were also reported that same day. Yuan says the Marriott is refusing to take responsibility for the damage to her vehicle.
“Desert Springs Marriott as well as corporate Marriott made clear to me that as with everything in life it's at your own risk,” Yuan said.
JW Marriott Desert Springs says safety is a priority and they have 24-hour security. In a statement to KMIR6 a JW Marriott spokesperson said:
"We have an awesome claims department working on this and hope to have the matter resolved as soon as possible.”
In Palm Springs another case of vehicle theft. This time in a parking lot along Palm Canyon Drive.
“There was $850 in cash. I had roughly $325 on my credit card,” theft victim Eddie Birmingham said.
Money he had intended on using to pay last months rent. Thieves also took his 2-year-old son's potty and Elmo shoes. Eddie says break-ins like this one have become all too common.
“There's been license plates stolen,” Birmingham said. “A buddy of mine had a car seat stolen out of the back of his car. Just stupid things that could have been avoided.”
Eddie says police did little to help, so KMIR6 contacted Palm Springs Police to see what victims should do. Police say there's sometimes a delay when it comes to finger printing cars because of the demand. As far as the stolen credit cards, the police department in the city they were used is responsible for handling that investigation.
Even here at KMIR6 in Palm Desert, some employees who live nearby recently were warned by their landlords to hide any valuables inside their cars, as theft has increased in the past few months. If you see anything suspicious - police want you to call them immediately.