Several families in College Station are learning an important lesson the hard way, after burglars broke into their cars and stole their belongings in broad daylight.
"All of them were just like me, moms," said Summer Zimmerman. "They were busy running their kids to tee ball games, and maybe left a purse or bag inside."
Police say the thieves broke into four vehicles near Brian Bachmann Park.
"They had broken out this window and it was shattered in," said Zimmerman. "More than likely, they used a spark plug."
For decades, criminals have been using pieces of spark plugs to break into vehicles, because it's quick and quiet.
College Station Police say they can't be sure that's how these burglars broke in, but investigators did find spark plug pieces in the victims' vehicles.
"Lock your door, take your keys, take your belongings, and if you can't take them with you, hide them," said Patricia Logan, College Station Police Department.
There have been no arrests yet, but College Station police say they do have leads.
Police say car burglaries are a crime of opportunity, and these thieves found bags containing IDs, hundreds of dollars in cash, and even checkbooks sitting in the vehicles they targeted.
"They have cashed $42,000 in checks, that the banks have physically given them the cash for," said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman has already fixed her car, but she says she'll be cleaning up this mess for years because the burglars also took her social security card .
"We're families and a family community that feels like we live in a small safe town, but we have to be more cautious and more proactive about protecting ourselves," said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman says she now takes everything with her when she gets out of the car.