CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, fewer people have been killed in 2016 then by this time last year. However, almost every other type of crime is up.
Police said break-ins are by far the worst.
"A couple of days ago we woke up at 6 o'clock and my wife's briefcase and belongings were scattered across the yard," Edward Surratt said.
Surratt said this is the second time one of his cars was broken into within the past two months. His wife is still shook up by the one a couple of days ago.
"My wife just called me this morning and said she's going through her bag and she felt so violated going through her bag that some burglar had been through," Surratt said.
He’s not alone. Officers said more than 5,418 cars have been broken into in the Charlotte area this year. That's up 50 percent compared to last year.
The University area is one of the big targets, in particular the 'Back Creek Chase' neighborhood.
"I noticed my car door was open and the light on. It looked like somebody had been through my stuff. When I checked it, my glove box was open, my stuff tossed around the car. Unfortunately, someone had robbed me and 18 or 20 other people on my block," John Bates said.
Police said they arrested nine teenagers between 12 and 17 years of age for the car break-ins in the University area.
Cops said the kids used social media to figure out how to get into and steal cars, reportedly targeting vehicles with 'push button' start and unlocked cars.
More than half of the nearly 60 cars stolen this year in the University area still had the keys or ignition fob in it.
"I'm super frustrated that somebody was capable of doing this. Frustrated at myself for having left my car door unlocked and leaving my materials in the car," Bates said.
The take away message here: lock your car doors, take your stuff inside, and do not leave keys or ignition fobs inside your car.