A woman who lost thousands of dollars worth of family jewelry is just one of the victims of a spate of burglaries in Huntington Beach.
Karyn Gallagher lost the irreplaceable items after thieves targeted her house in Softwind Drive in what was the first of eight such incidents in the area since September.
According to police it took burglars merely minutes to commit the crime, but it has left a permanent mark on their victim.
"It was mostly my super sentimental jewelry the things my mom gave me, my dad my grandma. Things with my kids’ names on them," Gallagher said.
She failed to make her house fully secure before the incident, believing there was no way such a crime could occur in the desirable area.
"I consciously looked at them when I left the house at 6.15 p.m. I thought, ’I'm not going to close them, it's too hot. Who's going to crawl in through the front window,' " Gallagher said, "We live in a really quiet community and I know that other people leave their windows open. We don’t think about it."
Now she is making sure her home is always locked up, a step the Huntington Beach Police Department want everyone to follow due to the current spate of such incidents, making sure all doors and windows are locked before leaving their properties.
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"Basically what's happening is the burglars are hitting during the day, when people are leaving their homes for a short period of time," Lt. Kent Ferrin said. “We are concerned that someone is going to be home. Someone can get hurt."