Missoula detectives urge folks to lock cars, keep valuables out


MISSOULA, Mont. - In Missoula the warm weather might bring out more runners but law enforcement officials say it also brings out thieves.

Detective T.J. McDermott with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office says the number of car break-ins they see increases dramatically during the summer.

He says thieves love recreational spots and trail heads because cars there are parked for hours at a time.

McDermott urge summer recreates to keep all valuables out of their vehicles and he says if you must bring them, lock them in your trunk.

He tells us filing car break-in reports can be a lengthy process due to the amount of property stolen and how many cars are sometimes hit at one location; that's why he says it's so important to be smart about storing your valuables. 

"It takes a lot of time to take these reports because often times there are multiple credit cards and check books and other things that even lead to other types of fraud," said McDermott.  "Trying to obtain surveillance video in the event that the suspect used the stolen merchandise or credit cards, it's time consuming."

McDermott also urges victims of theft to report it.  He says if they do recover any stolen goods they need a way to contact the owner.

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