Thieves targeting your vehicle while you're shopping inside stores

HOUSTON - A growing crime trend in the Houston area as thieves are outside shopping for cars to steal while you're inside the store shopping.

A victim says they went into a business in a busy area on Montrose near Westheimer, but when they came out something was missing.

This is the kind of crime that Houston police say is on the rise -- thieves breaking into your car. One woman took the story to social media after she went into a Walgreen's at 4pm to pick up a prescription.  She said she came back out to find their car window was smashed and a bag on the floor was gone.  Customers say they're careful.

"I usually try to watch my surroundings.  Watch what's around me when I go in and what's around me when I come out.  Since I have a clicker, I click it that I know my vehicle's safe," said James Foster.

But the posting warns of a greater problem. The woman said police told her that criminals are now waiting in their car simply looking for a good target. Houston police are checking their records to see if they are seeing criminals watching and waiting for you to walk away from your car.  But it is a crime they've seen before at places like gyms all over our area.

"Usually if there's anyone near them, yes," the victim told Local 2.

The victim said the parking lot was crowded. She believes the thief pulled up, broke into her car and got away in less than a minute.

"Helpless.  There's nothing you can do except take one for the team.  Hopefully they can find it," the victim said.

While Houston police say crimes like this are increasing, they also say these are the easiest to prevent by locking up your stuff.

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