NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One Queens neighborhood is becoming a dangerous place to park.
Police in College Point say there have been at least five car break-ins there since Aug. 23.
Last Monday, three men were seen on surveillance video burglarizing a car inside a Target parking lot at 20th Avenue and 132nd Street.
The 60-year-old owner of the car told police he parked in the lot around 1 p.m. When he came back, he realized his credit cards had been stolen from the center console and $2,300 of unauthorized purchases had been made on two of the cards.
The four other break-ins happened in parking lots near 132nd Street and 15th Avenue. All of them happened during the day.
Some of the cars had been left unlocked. But in other cases, the suspects pried the doors open.
Miriam Fayad told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge she usually leaves her purse in her car if she’s just running into a store, but not anymore.
“Usually Monday I do all my personal business and I have $3,000 in my bag,” she said. “I’ll leave it in the car, because I feel so comfortable and safe here, usually I don’t hear nothing around here… Now, I will never.”
Frankie Carlucci said the suspects look similar to some suspicious guys he saw in the neighborhood last week.
“We actually have it on camera. It was overnight. Two guys were just walking up and down the street checking to see if the car doors were open,” he said.
The NYPD is reminding people not to leave anything valuable in their cars.
“I personally always bring my bags with me,” one woman told Duddridge.
“I’ve noticed people are sometimes very careless about things like that,” a man added.
CBS2 spoke to several security guards patrolling the neighboring parking lots. They said they can’t imagine this happening on their watch, but police said the thieves often act too quickly to notice.
Anyone with information about the burglary spree is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637.