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Deer Creek residents “easy prey” for auto burglars

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DEER CREEK, Okla -- When the neighborhood dogs began to go berserk, Paul Ludwig decided to investigate.

It didn't take long to realize his cars had been burglarized. Ludwig said, "We noticed her glove box was open. Then we came and looked here the van was open."

It was only one in a handful of reported auto burglaries in the gated Deer Creek community. Oklahoma County Sheriff's Dept. spokesman, Mark Opgrande said, "A lot of these are gated communities. People walking through, not driving around. They're parked up front and walk around and try out car doors and find the unlocked cars."

Levi Ballard admits, he didn't lock his car. He had gotten home from work to find his two small children waiting out front. It was his birthday. Said Ballard, "I came home. That's what I was thinking about. I wasn't thinking about locking my car or getting my lap top. I scooped them up and went inside."

The next morning, he returned to the car to find it had been ransacked. That expensive laptop was GONE. Opgrande said, "These are easy prey for criminals coming by. They can just jump in and jump out."

The neighborhood association is spreading the word on their FaceBook page.

And Oklahoma Co. sheriff's deputies are beefing up patrols out here.

Homeowners are being urged to do their part too. Lock those vehicles, because a gate doesn't always provide protection from a determined thief. Ludwig said, "It's not Mayberry. I wish it were, but it's not."