Gilbert police helping remind people to lock their cars after rash of break-ins

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A Gilbert man is thankful after he caught a police officer doing a little extra to keep his neighborhood safe. 

His security cameras were rolling when the officer discovered the man had left his car unlocked.

So what did the officer do? He locked it for him! 

"I call it above and beyond. I am very grateful," said Gary Hilton. 

Hilton was sound asleep, but the camera outside his home was rolling. Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, it picked up the figure of a man using a flashlight to look in car windows.

"The alert from my monitoring device woke me up," he said. "It made me real nervous." 

It didn't take long for Hilton to realize it was a Gilbert police officer going around the neighborhood, checking for cars left unlocked. 

"We've had about 450 car burglaries so far in Gilbert this year, over 90 percent of them, the suspects accessed the interior of the vehicle through an unlocked door," said Sgt. Darrell Krueger with the Gilbert Police Department. 

Krueger says their officers often do this during downtime between calls. They also look for garage doors and front doors left open, anything that might lure criminals. 

"These acts have been going on, these good acts by officers and interactions with the public, have been going on for a long time but now we have the video evidence to support it," said Krueger. 

"I did not know this, it's nothing that I've seen advertised before, and it's nothing that I've ever heard that they do," said Hilton. 

After realizing he had left his car unlocked, Hilton went outside to find the officer and thank him. 

"All he did clearly was open, lock and shut. I welcome that any time, I have no issues with them coming onto my property, it's for my own good. And I realize this now and I'm so appreciative of it," said Hilton. 

He says he won't be leaving his car unlocked anymore. 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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