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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Usually you think about people stealing the stuff inside your car, but now a new crime spree has popped up with people stealing what's under the hood.

"You got to start by getting the hold off here, you got two bolts down here. Some of them have more than that. Then with your connection, that's just a snip, snip, and you could be pulling it right out," said mechanic Timothy Stokes.

Stokes says a thief could steal your car battery in minutes.

"If you had a screw gun and a pair of clippers, 5 minutes or less," he said.

And Black Friday will be prime shopping for crooks on the lookout for car batteries to steal.

With hundreds of cars lined up in parking lots across the country on the lookout for sales, people might not realize what's happening right in front of their eyes.

"You might just think someone is waiting on a jump start or working on their own car," Stokes said.

Some US cities have seen the theft of car batteries spike up to 445%.

The thieves either sell the parts for cash, or clean the battery up for resale.

"They're clean it up, put a different sticker on it, or their own sticker on it with no warranty. And once it's sold, it's your battery," he said.

But Stokes says crime doesn't pay.

For all the risk of stealing the car battery, the thieves are probably only collecting $10 dollars a pop... but...

"They wouldn't be doing it if they weren't making money," Stokes said.

So First For You, how do you protect yourself?

You can drill a small hole in your hood and attach a lock that would deter someone from breaking it open, you can find them online for as low as $10 dollars.

Or a basic car alarm, for as little as $50 would sound when a thief tried to break in to your hood to steal the battery.

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