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Morning commuters grabbing coffee target of vehicle break-ins, Burbank police say

A recent spike in car-related smash-and-grabs has authorities warning residents to hide their belongings when leaving their cars, even for a brief moment.

Roughly 25 smash-and-grab incidents have been reported to the Burbank Police Department in the past three weeks, according to Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman for the department.

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He said the thefts have mostly occurred during the early-morning hours near coffee shops.

“What’s happening is [the victims are] basically stopping at a Starbucks for a brief moment, getting out of their car, running in to get their morning coffee and leaving their laptops and briefcases … out in plain view,” Green said.

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Several of the thefts in Burbank have occurred around the intersections of Alameda and Olive avenues, Evergreen Street and Riverside Drive as well as Oak Street and Pass Avenue. Green said the victims would not even be gone from their cars for that long before they are broken into.

Some of the targeted cars were parked in lots, while others were parked along streets.

He added car break-ins have been on the rise in not just Los Angeles County but also in Central and Northern California.

It’s unknown if the thefts are connected to an increase in similar incidents elsewhere in the state, but Green said department officials think the incidents in Burbank are all being committed by a crew working together.

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