APD: Lock your car, protect your belongings - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

APD: Lock your car, protect your belongings

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Albany Police say crooks are going into cars all over town and stealing your valuables people leave inside. They're especially concerned because thieves are often targeting guns.

Police are asking people to help them fight this crime problem. Most times entering autos are crimes of opportunity.

The thief sees a car left unlocked and a purse or a gun sitting there where they can see it, and they take advantage. Police say if you don't give crooks that easy opportunity, they are less likely to make you a crime victim.

Deana Daniel always locks her car door as she heads into the grocery store. "Because I don't want anyone breaking and entering my car and stealing my valuables," she said.

But Police say too many other people in Albany are not following Daniel's lead. There were 65 entering auto reports turned into Albany Police in the last month. In 37% of those cases purses were stolen. There were 13 rifles, shotguns, pistols, or knives stolen. Police say young people are looking in cars for guns.

Police say more South Georgians are carrying pistols, and most keep them on the floor under their seat. That's the first place crooks look. Also Police say hunters are putting rifles or shotguns next to them for easy access.

In 72% of the purse thefts, the cars were left unlocked. In only 28% of the cases were the cars locked. Many of the thefts are at people's homes in their driveways.

 "I guess once most people when they get home, everything's safe and they never had any problems before, people breaking in your cars. Get out of the car and run into the house," said Albany Police Sgt. Edward Heath.

Police say crooks are also targeting I-pods, electronics, game systems, even clothes, anything they see out in the open that's easy to grab and run.

Police say the best way to protect your valuables is not to leave them in your car. Take your guns and your purse and GPS in your house, or lock them in the trunk, and lock your car doors. Even in your driveway.

Police say thieves are targeting cars in residential areas at night. Most thefts from store parking lots occur during the day. The majority of the thefts are in West and North central Albany.

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