BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Brownsville Police Department wants to ensure the safety of the community and property after burglaries increase in the city.

“We’re tending to see the spike in burglaries and everything, people really need to take care, especially when they are at home or either shopping,” said Brownsville Police Department’s public information officer, Martin Sandoval.

He said burglars are targeting people’s property at homes right now, but with the holidays coming up things will change.

“The closer we get to the shopping time especially coming towards Thanksgiving and Christmas it starts to happen a lot of times at retail shops, malls, and situations like that,” said Officer Sandoval.

He explained there are simple precautions to take in order to protect your belongings, such as making sure your vehicle’s doors are locked.

“You have to double-check them. I know sometimes some people will use a remote to lock them, make sure you check it manually, make sure they’re locked,” he said.

Officer Sandoval said parking your car in a well-lit area and keeping valuables out of sight will help deter burglars from breaking into cars.

Officer Sandoval explained the importance of securing homes with security systems and cameras.

“Make sure your houses are locked. If you have an alarm system, set your alarm,” he said.

He recommended people keep their windows covered and closed to avoid anyone seeing the property inside their home.

Officer Sandoval said leaving your homes and vehicles unsecured, gives burglars an opportunity to enter and steal, which is why they call it “crimes of opportunity.”

“We’re having a problem right now. There’s an individual that is actually going through the neighborhoods and what he does is he checks car doors. Once he finds an open car door, he goes into the vehicle, he starts taking what he needs and then takes off,” he said.

Officer Sandoval said the burglar is stealing in the night and early morning hours and then is not seen again, making it difficult to apprehend him.

“The individual we are actually looking for, his name is Jacob Lee Rodriguez. We’ve been searching for him because he’s gone through several neighborhoods in Brownsville. He’s not concentrated in just one specific area,” he said.

He explained that Rodriguez is suspected to have conducted twelve burglaries and has eight warrants for his arrest, including burglary and one for theft of a motor vehicle.

The suspect stole a vehicle after finding spare keys inside an unlocked car, according to Officer Sandoval.

He said the car was found later, abandoned, and out of gas.

“What he does is he checks car doors. Once he finds an open car door, he goes into the vehicle and starts taking what he needs, and then he takes off,” said Officer Sandoval.

If you have any information on the suspected burglar, you are urged to contact the Brownsville Crime Stoppers at (956) 546- TIPS (8477).