Plano police have seen an increase in thieves stealing third row seats from SUVs.
Police in Plano say just in the last few months, they've had 22 reported cases.
One recent victim was a mom who says she was targeted in the middle of the day in a busy parking lot. She said her black Tahoe was targeted Sunday afternoon during what should have been an uneventful trip to the Cinemark movie theater with her husband and kids.
“Fairly close to the movie theater, so we thought ok. Where we were parked, either someone would have seen something or there were cameras there,” the woman, who did not want to be identified, said.
As her young son climbed in the back of the Tahoe, the back seat was missing.
“I was kind of in shock,” she said. “But when I went to open the door handle, they had broken the door handle on the passenger side. And I couldn't believe that it had happened to us in broad daylight.”
The thieves also broke part of the back window. Police collected whatever evidence they could.
“It is a big problem. It's a huge problem,” said Plano Police Officer David Tilly. “We are having a lot of them.”
Plano police say there was another third row seat theft from the theater that same afternoon.
The crimes are typically happening in large parking lots at business and residents with easy access to major freeways. They believe the thieves work in groups with GM products as their vehicles of choice.
“We have made some arrests,” said Tilly. “We've done surveillance on these individuals, and we've put people in jail for this. But this is a large group.”
The mom says her family is a pinch while the SUV is at the shop. Replacing the backseat alone will cost them about $1,500.
“It's scary because who knows if we would have come out when this was happening,” she said.
Police recommend anyone with a vehicle that has third row seats should buy locking devices that would help prevent the seats from being stolen.