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Residents React To Police Checking Unlocked Cars In Western Suburb

CHICAGO (CBS)--  St. Charles police officers have been checking cars doors and distributing reminders about unlocked cars. Some residents feel this crime prevention tactic is an invasion of privacy.

Michelle Kapambwe watched from her apartment as a St. Charles police officer checked parked cars.

"I've never seen that before," she said.

Kapambew posted pictures on Facebook of an officer reaching for a car door handle.

"Some people were very upset invasion of privacy, other people told me to mind my own business and I should be happy that they're checking the cars," she said.

St. Charles police confirmed an officer was checking to see if cars were locked and leaving crime prevention notices, warning about the security risk of an unlocked vehicle.

This is a tactic the police department said they have used for more than 20 years without complaint.

"We are balancing best practices with public safety," a spokesman said.

Kapambwe said the effort was misguided.

"I just felt violated, it's my car, it's my property I'm not doing anything wrong," she said.

One Facebook comment stated, "What if they started to go up to people's front doors?"

Resident Mike Ibister said he felt the police are just doing a community service.

"The flipside is they're just warning you, they don't want to see your car stolen," he said.

St Charles police said they will now re-examine their policy on checking door handles.

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