TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They are breaking into cars left and right, stealing whatever they can get their hands on. Tyler police say auto burglaries are on the rise, and it is happening everywhere. In fact, a string of break-ins overnight led to a police chase. It started on New Copeland Road and ended on Crockett Street, where four young men bailed out of their car and ran into some nearby woods. Police arrested 17-year-old Obed Escareno, but are still looking for the other three suspects.
Boyd Dupree and his family are sick and tired of car burglars hitting their neighborhood.
"Kids are breaking into people's cars," said Dupree. "They are just literally going car by car, unlocking, seeing what they can find."
Early Thursday morning, thieves struck again. So this time, the Dupree's took matters in their own hands.
"Everyone just literally dashed out, started screaming at the guys, and they just bolted," said Dupree.
Police say those suspects hit another part of Tyler too. Ashley Tisdale's neighbor was one of those victims...his truck broken into twice now.
"I don't like living here anymore," said Tisdale. "I don't even go outside at night anymore and I hardly leave the house unless it's during the day."
In the last two days, three 17-year olds have been arrested in unrelated car burglaries. Police are trying to track down more suspects who are ripping out equipment like stereos.
"I just want people to stop stealing," said Dupree. "It's ridiculous. We work for our stuff, get your own stuff."
"Laptops, your GPS systems, radar detectors, all that, it really needs to be taken in if you can't put your car in a garage and lock it up," said Officer Don Martin, with the Tyler Police Department.
Car alarms also help. But police are really depending on you staying alert to help them crack down.
"If they hear dogs barking, see a car parked in front of their house that they know is out of place, doesn't belong there, there's people sitting there, they need to notify us," said Martin.
Again, police say this is happening in all kinds of neighborhoods, so no one is safe. Auto burglars usually strike in the early morning hours, when most people are sleeping.