Albany police caution residents amid rise in car thefts

Car thefts on the rise in Georgia and nationwide
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 8:51 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Stolen cars are one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country; and Georgia is no exception. It’s described as an epidemic in some cities. Around 1,000 cars were stolen in Atlanta in just the first four months of 2022.

Police are encouraging everyone to lock their cars and secure their keys.
Police are encouraging everyone to lock their cars and secure their keys.(WALB)

“It’s a common, everyday type of crime that we investigate,” Albany Police Lieutenant, Jon Segroes said.

Albany police reports from last week show in the last seven days alone, nine cars have been stolen in the city, and as of Thursday, Dougherty County police put out an alert for a man suspected of stealing a truck at a convenience store near Radium Springs.

Police said in that case, the owner ran in quickly to grab something and left his truck running and in only a few minutes, the truck was gone.

Also known as opportunity crimes, car thefts can burden anyone when they least expect it. In most cases, stolen cars are used to commit other crimes such as robberies and burglaries.

The Albany Police Department said they are advising people to lock their cars and secure their keys to help with that crime rate.

Lt. Segroes said residents need to be more vigilant to avoid car thefts.
Lt. Segroes said residents need to be more vigilant to avoid car thefts.(WALB)

“Secure your keys, take them out, even if you go in the store for just a minute. That minute usually turns into five minutes or 10 minutes, and when you leave your vehicle outside and running, you’ve created a huge opportunity for somebody to take that vehicle. And that is one of the things we’re seeing,” Segroes said. “Prevent somebody from making you a victim. Don’t victimize yourself with these types of crimes.”

People need to be more vigilant during the holidays. Segroes said security devices like a car club can make a difference in the rise of car thefts in Albany.

“It’s very hard for us to prevent them, but it’s very easy for you to prevent them,” he said.