Sheriff's Sgt. Rich Eaton said in the last 28 days there had been 55 car burglaries across Encinitas. This time last year, there were 28.
Eaton said 86 percent of the recent burglaries could have been prevented if all doors were locked and windows rolled up.
Thieves are striking primarily between midnight to 5 a.m. They are going from vehicle to vehicle looking for easy opportunities by checking door handles to see if they are unlocked. The crooks are swiping items like laptops, wallets, iPhones and iPads, as well as purses and bags.
Some of the burglars have been caught on surveillance videos using stolen credit cards in nearby stores and trolley stations.
The best way to deter these criminals is by locking your vehicle's doors and making sure all windows are rolled up, Eaton said. Owners should also avoid leaving valuables in plain sight inside vehicles, Eaton said. He also suggested reporting any suspicious activity in the neighborhood.