BARTLETT, TN - (WMC-TV) – In just one night, thieves broke into more than a dozen cars at a Mid-South movie theater. Everything from electronics to money was taken. One victim said even his gun was stolen.
The cars all had their locks punched out. There is also another common denominator: all the cars were the same make.
'Tis the season to get your stuff stolen with all the shopping and bags left in the car. Police are warning people to "stow don't show it." Some theater-goers in Bartlett learned this the hard way.
"Usually if you stay out in the open, you can see around you, you should be okay," motorist Connie Williams said. "At night time it's a different story."
And night time is exactly when thieves broke a week ago into a dozen cars at the Malco Theater parking lot on Stage Road in Bartlett. All of the cars were made by Ford. The lock on the driver's side door was punched out so the thieves could get inside the car.
"I think it's terrible, especially at this time of the year," Williams said.
Bartlett police say the break-ins happened between 6 and 9 o'clock at night. They got away with handgun, a camera, an iPad and even clothing.
We looked in several cars in the parking lot and saw items sitting out in plain view and purchases in bags in various vehicles.
"I don't really keep anything in the car," motorist Thomas Sparks said. "If they want to take the car seat feel free. We haven't done our Christmas shopping yet. We really don't keep anything in the car. There's nothing to take."
That's not the case for the Hodges family, who are likely grateful for the increased patrols at the theater.
"Normally I don't really pay attention," Mitchell Hodges said. "Personally we live in a small town."
He said that right now he leaves things in the car.
The Hodgeses are visiting from Indiana. They said they have an iPad and computer in their car.
They probably want to hide them.
"Probably not a bad idea because we do leave it out in plain sight," he said.
And that's exactly what the family did.
Bartlett police do have surveillance video of the thieves at the theater, but it was at night and they may be difficult to identify. Police are warning just to be careful.