HILLSBORO, Ore ... After some holiday shopping, Amy Stadelman stuffs her loot inside the trunk of her SUV. She does not want anybody to see what she is hauling around.

My windows are dark, said Stadelman. It s a little lower back there. It appears not everybody follows the same advice. According to police, a lot of people leave their personal belongings in the open. It can lead to trouble. Good to know, said Stadelman.

Over the course of the last year there have been more than 500 vehicle break-ins in the Hillsboro area. Nearly three dozen of them played out in the parking lots of busy restaurants. There are very few witnesses, said Michael Rouches of the Hillsboro Police Department.

More officers than usual will be patrolling shopping centers and restaurants over the holiday season. Officers cannot see everything with the beefed up police presence.

Our advice is don t leave anything visible in your car period, said Rouches. Lock it in the trunk. Amy Stadelman lives by that advice, but does even more. I park where it s lit, said Stadelman.

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