By Jason Massad

The number of car break-ins has been increasing in recent weeks, Sandy Springs law enforcement officials said.

Sandy Springs police Officer Larry Jacobs of the department’s crime prevention unit said the rash of car break-ins at shopping centers in the city is normal for this time of the year and, typically, lasts through Christmas.

“Bad guys go shopping for their families too,” Jacobs said.

A shopping center in the 1100 block of Mount Vernon Highway has been hit hard in the last few weeks, Jacobs said. Officers also were watching parking lot activity at another shopping center, which is located on Roswell Road south of I-285, he said.

“It was enough to get our attention,” he said. “It’s normal (in shopping areas) this time of the year to have one or two a week. It’s not normal when you’re seeing three or four a day.”

Law enforcement officials advise taking valuables out of your car and storing them in your trunk before you arrive at a shopping destination.