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Thwart a thief by locking up

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  It's a simple rule to follow, but it's one that many of us might be ignoring. Lock your cars, your homes and your valuables. If you don't, you are asking for thieves to take advantage of you.

Locking up your car is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your belongings. It's a simple click of the remote or on the door, yet many people don't even do that. And thieves know it. 

They walk from car to car in parking lots looking for open doors and valuables they can take.

Jonathan Pratt isn't a man who wants to become a victim. "I don't want somebody to break in and do something to it," he said.

He worked hard for the things he's got and isn't willing to give them up to criminals.  And that's why when he parks his vehicle, he does this. "I lock my vehicle."

So does Felecia Upshaw.  She says she always does this (locking the door) when she leaves her car parked.  "To be safe," she said. "You never know who's around.  Who's looking so I just do it to be safe."

And she knows plenty of folks who've been victims of thieves. "I know quite a few, 'cause they might put their purses in the back seat or just leave it unlocked, just go in the store and get something out.  I know quite a few."

So does City commissioner Bob Langstaff.  He says so many people don't lock up their cars and belongings. "I know people believe and actually, my late father believed the same way, that it's his car and nobody needs to be messing with it, regardless of whether it's locked or unlocked or has the keys in it or not."

But the reality is, thieves are simply looking for the opportunity to strike.

"They will just check car doors to see if they're open and if they're open, they're going to riffle through whatever is in there," said Langstaff.

And if they hit the jackpot, getting a gun, money, computer or other valuable, the chance is, they'll return.

Of course, locking your car is only half the battle. Moving your valuables out of plain sight is also important.  If money, or high dollar items can be seen through the window, a locked door won't necessarily stop criminals.

The Albany Police department responded to almost 250 larcenies, which includes entering autos last month.  That's up 26%  from the same time last year.

 

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