Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office sees uptick in auto burglaries

Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office sees uptick in auto burglaries

LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies said all but one car was unlocked in the 10 vehicle burglaries they investigated this weekend.

They said an expensive item was in plain sight in the locked car.

An investigator said cleaning out your car and keeping it locked could help prevent you from being the next victim.

Investigator Chris Allen said they’ve seen a dramatic increase in entering autos over the past year.

Allen said 95% of cars were unlocked.

“We’ve seen it many, many times on camera. They’ll come up and tug the door handle on countless vehicles and if that door is unlocked, they’re going in,” said Allen.

Allen said in many cases, these vehicles have high-dollar items and guns inside.

Chris Allen is an investigator with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Chris Allen is an investigator with the Lee County Sheriff's Office. (Source: WALB)

“If it’s unlocked and there’s a firearm in it, they will find it. When you leave your vehicle at night, that gun should be in your house,” said Allen.

He said these instances keep happening because of unlocked cars and more people being at home.

“There’s more people at home that are bored, and their kids are bored, and a good portion of these people that we’re seeing commit these crimes are juveniles,” said Allen.

Every vehicle they’ve seen stolen, Allen pointed out, the keys were inside the car.

Allen said these stolen vehicles then have the potential to become an asset to drive-by shootings, homicides and armed robberies.

Cleaning out your car and keeping it locked could help prevent you from being the next victim.
Cleaning out your car and keeping it locked could help prevent you from being the next victim. (Source: WALB)

“A good portion of the time the stolen vehicles that we get do not come back in good shape. We’ve seen it happen time and time again to where the vehicle is riddled with bullet holes spent shell casings there will be blood in there, and the insurance companies not going to replace their, vehicle they’re going to fix it,” said Allen.

The sheriff’s office is continuing its investigation into the people involved in the entering autos from over the weekend.

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