Orange County sheriff's deputies are trying to get your attention before thieves do. They are kicking off the holiday season by trying to make sure you get in the habit of hiding your valuables.
"These guys left a purse in plain view in the back seat. It took no effort for me to see that notice that here," said Corporal Marcus Camacho. "So we'll leave her a bit of a warning. Hopefully it won't happen again and she won't be a victim of a crime."
Operation Candy Cane has uniformed deputies peeking into car windows. They're looking for valuables you leave behind from bags and purses to those gifts you just bought. If they see some, they'll leave you a friendly reminder.
"You have a shopping bag here and a child's bag," the corporal pointed out. So, he left a not on Tammy Spees windshield. Her reaction? "Oh I left my stuff? Those are actually returns I'm trying to make and my lunch," she said, referring to what she'd left sitting on her front passenger seat.
Deputies point out while she knows what's in there, thieves don't. "Break a window steal a bag, might not get anything, but here you have to go through the hassle of replacing the window," said Corporal Camacho. Spees says, typically she's more careful. "Usually I hide it in the back so I need to be better. But today I'm in a hurry. That's how it happens isn't it?" said Spees.
Deputies say that's why car break ins are much more frequent this time of year. OCSO started at the Waterford Lakes Town Center and they'll be hitting up other malls across the county leaving little notes behind along with a candy cane. "To let you know we're from the sheriffs office and we come in peace," said Corporal Camacho.
That's their way of reminding you to hide those valuables in the trunk, or to cover them up in cargo area of your SUV. After all, next time, the person looking through your window likely won't be so sweet.