Car break-ins reported at West Omaha businesses

Posted at 10:52 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 00:19:42-04

A woman at Lifetime Fitness in West Omaha was stunned at how bold a thief was in targeting her car in plain site.

Two victims in the West Omaha area say their cars were broken into in broad daylight, in busy parking lots with security cameras.

Aimeee Schwarz never would have thought she would be targeted by thieves outside this fitness center near 168th and Center streets during one of the busiest times of day.

"I was so close to the front that I'm super surprised that nobody saw it," she said. "From what I understand, it happens a lot... You can see actually where they just took a screw driver, and they just pop out the window."

Schwartz said the crooks got away random pieces of clothing and her work bags, and her family had to find a car to rent during the college world series while the window was replaced

The total bill for everything was in the thousands of dollars, but Schwarz says the June 16 incident has a much higher cost — her sense of security.

"My friend had her purse stolen out of her car here. Had her window busted out also," she said.

A Facebook post warns parents who use a daycare just minutes away about a similar incident.

An Omaha mom left her bag in the locked car while dashing in to pick her up children. She said she was gone just minutes when witnesses say a person ran up to the car, smashed the window, grabbed the purse in the front seat, and made a getaway in a waiting car.

Omaha Police Crime Prevention Specialist Vanessa Urbach calls incidents like these crimes of opportunity. She said to keep valuables — and even things like spare change — out of sight.

"A lot of times with day cares and things like that, parents are busy, running in really quick, and they leave their valuables behind," Urbach said. "So it's really something you have to be aware of if you're leaving your doors unlocked.

"It's very important for people to file that report where it's loose change sunglasses or something bigger like a laptop," she said.

OPD says it's incredibly important to report these crimes so they can focus their efforts on neighborhoods that may be seeing an uptick in break-ins.