BOZEMAN- Hiking season sometimes brings a rash of trailhead thefts to the Bozeman area, but there are some ways to deter thieves from smashing your windows.

The Forest Service and the Gallatin County Sheriff both say the best way to protect yourself is to have nothing in your car when you’re at a trailhead. 

Nate Card, patrol captain with the Forest Service, says thieves walk around parking lots looking into windows for valuables.

“They’re looking down and if they see anything, they might smash and grab it," Card says. "Otherwise they're going to try the door. If the door is locked they’ll move onto the next one.”

Cpt. Jake Wagner with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office says they have a very high success rate in catching these people who break into cars if people report seeing a thief.

“We have to develop leads,” Wagner said. "It depends on the public and what they’re able to provide us, it’s really a 'see something, say something' piece.” 

To report a trail break-in or information about a potential suspect, call the sheriff's office at 406- 582-2100. Trailhead break-ins are usually a felony crime.

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