Auto glass repair shops slammed after car break-ins

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Christmas grinches haven't faded with the Holidays. Knoxville auto-glass repair shops say they're slammed with cleaning up the mess from car-break ins.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy spoke with car shops and police and has more on the story.

Police say the break-ins are happening everywhere from shopping center parking lots to upscale Knoxville neighborhoods. We asked Knoxville police and the Knox County Sheriff's Office for crime stats. They couldn't get them to us by the end of their day. Still, there's been enough to keep Autoglass of America busy fixing broken glass.

Shattered glass that shatters lives.

"Things have gotten a little out of control, I guess," said Sean Holloway from Autoglass of America.

The number of recent car break-ins has technicians at Autoglass of America constantly...cutting...and curing broken glass.

"Other people's bad luck is our good luck," Holloway said.

Luck that thieves keep parking inside this Lovell Road shop.

"Since we've been at this location it's the busiest Holiday season that we've had," Holloway said.

Holloway says typically they'll patch around 15 break-in-related windows a week. Now his technicians fix 20 to 30, all busted by break-ins.

"You're looking at almost 50 percent. So that's changed considerably up from last year," Holloway said.

Holloway says that's thanks in part to near-by Turkey Creek. The story's all sound the same.

"Brought their bags out, went back in, came back out and their windows were broken," Holloway said.

But it's not just shopping center parking lots.

"Most of our work is mobile rather than in shop so we're actually going to the neighborhoods to the houses," Holloway said.

Autoglass of America says one of the places it's constantly coming back to for car break-ins is here in Seqouyah Hills. Last year the neighborhood saw at least more than 50 car break-ins.

"I've been here 21 years. I don't think it's a full moon. I don't think it's just the end of the month. I think thieves when they see something, they just take it," Knoxville Police officer Sammy Rivera said.

Rivera says just because glass-shops business has boomed doesn't means break-ins have too.

"The Holidays are over so a lot of claims are being filed," Rivera said.

KPD has around 70 patrols out a night.

"Uniform and the car, that's a good part of prevention," Rivera said.

To try and keep your car out of Holloway's shop.

KPD says there are certain things you can do to make you less-likely to become a victim. First, use common sense. Keep as many belongings with you as you can.
Hide items under your seat, a blanket, or magazine. Park in well-lit areas. Also, write down the serial numbers of any valuable items. That way, if they're stolen, you can track it down. Also, police say the number of break-ins does typically increase around the Holidays.

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