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Auto burglaries on the rise during the holidays, victimized Edmond family speaks out

EDMOND, Okla. -- During the festive time of year, there seems to be a rise in crime.

Edmond Police said auto burglaries usually spike during the summer and holiday months.

Our NewsChannel 4 crews talked to one family who was victimized by thieves.

The Pattons said they left some of their belongings in their cars with the doors unlocked.

They came back to find their vehicles ravaged and possessions stolen, leaving them with a big lesson this holiday.

"From now on, I'm locking my car at all times," said Kristie Patton.

This Thanksgiving, Kristie Patton is without her purse, credit cards, and checkbooks after leaving her personal items in her car in an Edmond neighborhood near 15th and Bryant.

"I'm just too trusting I think, I think nothing is going to happen to me, so I have everything in here," said Patton.

"An auto burglary is truly a crime of opportunity," said Jenny Wagnon-Monroe with the Edmond Police Department.

Edmond Police say auto burglaries happen often and people need to protect their property from thieves searching for anything to steal.

"They're simply looking in a window. When they see it, they'll break the window out or open that door and take it," said Monroe.

Unfortunately for Patton, the mystery thieves got away with a lot, right when times are tough; Patton's husband is battling personal health issues.

"He had to go to a treatment center to be treated because he's been really sick the past couple of months. Now I'm just a single mom, with four kids," said Patton.

A big lesson Patton and her kids have learned is to be proactive. They hope their neighbors learn from their mistake.

"Always lock your door, always take your valuables inside with you because you just never know," said Patton.

Despite the headache the Pattons are dealing with, they still plan to enjoy the holiday and said they’re thankful for what they do have.

One of the victim’s friends also had her purse stolen in a nearby neighborhood off of 15th between Bryant and Boulevard.

If you notice any suspicious activity, call the Edmond Police Department.