CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Don't make your car an open invitation for thieves. That is the message law enforcement in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area are trying to get out to the public Tuesday.
Halt Auto Break-Ins Today, or HABIT, is an awareness effort taking place after 11 break-ins last week.
Police say thieves smashed windows or pried the locks and then stole radios, CD players and stereo parts.
Someone broke into Rob Roll's Chevy Blazer, smashing the window and taking the radio. It is not the kind of greeting Roll expected. He moved to Chapel Hill less than a month ago.
"It was a complete surprise. I was parked right under a light in a very open area," he said.
Police say a lot of thefts can be prevented.
"The most basic steps are just lock your doors and roll your windows up and if you have anything that's valuable in your car to take it with you," said Danny Lloyd of the Chapel Hill Police Department.
The effort coincides with the first day of classes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Representatives handed out flyers with safety tips in town and university park-and-ride lots early Tuesday.
More than 1,000 vehicles were broken in to in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area last year.
"And that results in thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars worth of property that gets taken," Lloyd said.
The Chapel Hill and Carrboro police departments, the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety, Crime Stoppers and Chapel Hill Transit are among the agencies taking part in the awareness effort.