LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Parking on game days in Louisville can be a hassle, but with car thieves looking to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, parking can become even more stressful.
"We're looking at about 20 between the two games, which is significantly more than what we'd normally see," LMPD Lt. Jason Grissom said.
According to Grissom, officers have been investigating a sharp spike in the number of car break-ins over the past two Louisville home games. Grissom said these crimes can be tough to solve.
One of the best ways people can protect their cars and valuables, according to Grissom, is by being aware of what they are allowed to bring into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, which has several restrictions on items like bags and purses. A full list can be found here.
"We have seen an increase in people being turned away at the gate and returning to their cars to bring their purses and bags back," he said.
Grissom said when people come back to their cars to drop their items off, many often leave them in plain sight, which makes those cars targets for thieves.
"I can see that backpack. I know there's a cell phone charger right next to it. Maybe it charges an iPad or a laptop," he said. "We're seeing very simple breaking out a window, reaching in and grabbing a purse or a bag and taking off really quick, something that takes a matter of seconds."
Grissom said thus far all the reported break-ins have occurred on side streets and private lots not operated by the University of Louisville, believed to mostly be crimes of opportunity.
"Woman walking back to her car with her purse, bad guy sees her put that purse in her car and walk to the game," he said. "Well there you go. There's your opportunity. As soon as the coast is clear, it's on."
LMPD will be increasing its patrol in affected areas for the upcoming home game this Saturday, according to Grissom. Anyone who notices anything suspicious is asked to contact LMPD through its anonymous tip line: 574-LMPD.