CARROLLTON –– Police call it a BMV: shorthand for burglary of a motor vehicle. In a neighborhood just northeast of Hebron Parkway and Josey Lane, people call it a pain.
"If we can stop it and nip it in the bud, it's obviously better for everyone," said resident Kristina Walters. But the thieves didn't have to work too hard.
"All of those vehicles had their doors unlocked," said Carrollton Police Department Spokesman Nicole Rodriguez.
So Carrollton started a proactive overnight patrol: officers ride up and down the streets on bicycles, looking not only for the car burglars but also for careless car owners. They stop at parked cars, check for unlocked doors, open windows, or belongings left in plain view, and they do it in the middle of the night.
So far no one is complaining about a police officer peering into their personal vehicle.
"If someone sees them, they're gonna see the badge, the bike, the uniform, so hopefully citizens will see right away it's an officer," said Rodriguez.
Police leave behind what they call a vehicle burglary report card. It's a small card that tells the vehicle owner if they've passed or failed, and it lists the reason why. The number of F grades they are giving is high.
"50 percent of the cars that they checked, which was about 100 cars, 50 percent of them failed," said Rodriguez
Other departments use similar report cards as reminders and Carrollton hopes it works for them. Because, Rodriguez reminds residents, there's an easy way to stop being easy prey.
"Just lock your doors," she said.