ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police are warning everyone to stay alert because they are seeing an increase in vehicle thefts and car burglaries.
APD said it’s not just this holiday season, it’s year around they’re finding folks leaving valuables like purses and random bags in plain view, and then leaving their cars and not locking them, setting themselves up to be the next victim.
“I’m trying to save myself. You never know. I might be a target. You never know because I go into a lot of stores,” said Johnny Gordon, resident.
Gordon said every time he steps in and out of his car, locking his doors is the first thing that comes to mind.
“When I get in my car, when I go somewhere one of the first things I do when I get in my car, I lock my door,” said Gordon.
Gordon said it’s now a daily routine for him, because his car was burglarized with him inside.
Albany Police said right now vehicle theft and car burglaries are on the rise.
“We’ve seen an influx in our motor vehicle theft cases. And one of the main factors of that is that people are getting out the vehicles and leaving them running,” said APD Sgt. Jon Segroves.
Also leaving them unattended as they go inside stores and their homes. And Segroves said criminals are not only taking cars, they’re also taking valuables from inside cars.
“For entering autos, most of those are also crimes of opportunity where you’re leaving valuables in sight. If you leave your valuables laying in sight, you’ve created an opportunity for somebody to steal it,” said Segroves.
From leaving your purse in plain view, to shopping bags, and even guns, you could easily set yourself up to be the next target and lose all of your valuables and possibly your life.
“You never know, they killing you for nothing. You don’t have to have no money. You don’t know what they are going to do,” said Gordon.
So keep your doors locked at all times. And if you commit either crime, you’ll face a felony charge.
“You will be charged with a felony by theft by taking. That will put a felony on your record which unfortunately can prevent a lot of your future job opportunities,” said Segroves.
Also, possibly five to 10 years behind bars.
APD said if you’re concerned about the rise of gun violence, they say the majority of those crimes are committed using guns stolen from cars. So it’s best to protect your property and lock your doors, as it could save you headache and also save a life.