An interesting crime story from the DMN today introduces us to one of the city’s most prolific petty criminals. Charlie Perez of Arlington is a heroin addict who is accused of breaking into hundreds of parked cars in the Stemmons corridor.

Smash-and-grab car burglaries are common in parts of our neighborhood. Sometimes the late-night break-ins come in waves. Sometimes, burglars will target one block or apartment building and ruin everyone’s morning.

Occasionally waking up to auto glass pebbles and stolen radios is an unfortunate fact of life in some parts of Oak Cliff.

When it happened to me last month, it didn’t even occur to me to call the police. But that’s the wrong way of thinking. Victims of auto burglaries should always report them to police. Even if they can’t find the burglar, police can spot crime trends, and in some cases, they can use forensics to catch the criminal.

Petty crimes like theft, shoplifting and car burglaries spike in December. So keep a watchful eye on your stuff.