ST. CHARLES, Mo. ( - Police in St. Charles County are implementing a crackdown on car break-ins and are warning residents.

Police saw a surge in car thefts and break-ins at the beginning of 2021. That is not uncommon in winter with warming cars left unattended. But authorities are also seeing a change in car breaks-ins; in the past, thieves might pull a car handle and if the car was locked, they would move on, but that is not currently the case.

"Thieves are now smashing the car windows. They're taking some type of tool and smashing a window. Most of the time, it is someone who has left something valuable in plain view," said Lt. Tom Wilkinson with St. Charles County police.

Departments across the county are working together as part of a new initiative. If a call comes out for a suspicious car or person, police saturate the area in an effort to interrupt the crime while it is happening.

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