PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rick Holtgraver and his girlfriend were at his Ross Township apartment one night recently. When they came outside to leave, they saw his Trailblazer, which was locked, had been targeted by an unwelcome visitor.

“Broken glass all over the place, I looked, and everything was out of my console, all my CDs were sitting in a pile on the seat, my glove compartment was open, everything was torn out of my glove compartment,” Holtgraver said.

To somebody up to no good, a parking lot can look like easy pickings.

Ross Township Police say in the past week or so, they’ve investigated at least 15 auto burglaries or break-ins.

Lisa Washington’s Report:

“You consider several vehicles over the course of several nights, different locations, jurisdiction and it’s enough to likely sustain a drug habit which is usually the driving force behind most of these crimes,” Ross Township Police Sgt. Ben Dripps said.

Like in Holtgraver’s case, the crimes take place during the overnight hours and involve broken windows in large parking lots. The Hampton Inn, and the Intown Suites, around Corbett Court, apartment buildings in the North Balph Avenue area have all been targeted.

It’s worth repeating,  police say people should always lock their vehicles, don’t leave items of value inside, and definitely don’t leave them in plain view.

“The one thing you can do is make sure those valuables aren’t visible. It may not be much to you, but it’s enough to attract someone to your vehicle,” Sgt. Dripps said. “That loose change, those small bills, that’s enough to attract someone to your vehicle.”

For Holtgraver, he hopes to take his Trailblazer to the body shop this week to get the rear window repaired.

“I mean, we live in a big city, man, it’s a shame, but it happens,” he said.

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