The Athens Police Department has seen a recent increase in theft reports from unlocked vehicles. Most burglaries occur at night while the vehicle is parked outside the owner’s residence however, some burglars target vehicles that are parked in parking lots while the owners are at work, attending school, or shopping.
These types of burglaries are “crimes of opportunity” that can be combated by taking a proactive approach to safeguarding your valuables. Don’t make it easy for a burglar to steal your property. This holiday season we ask that you follow a few simple measures so you can reduce the likelihood of being a victim.
- Leave any unneeded valuables at home.
- Park your vehicle in well lit areas, lock all your doors and roll up your windows, regardless if your vehicle is parked at your residence or in a parking lot. Leaving vehicles unlocked is one of the most common things people do that help thieves steal your property.
- Avoid leaving packages or shopping bags out in the open. This also applies to purses, wallets, cellular phones, electronics, and brief cases. If you have to leave items inside your vehicle, secure them out of sight in the center console, the glove box, or the trunk. If you leave items in your vehicle and they are visible, the chances your vehicle will get broken into, increase greatly.
- Do not leave firearms in your vehicle.
If your vehicle is broken into you are asked to contact the Athens Police Department immediately and be ready to provide a detailed list of the stolen items including the serial number, model number, and brand name. Promptly reporting any crime to law enforcement is an important factor in recovering stolen property and catching the thieves.
It is imperative that all citizens implement security measures to help reduce criminal activities. The most important thing you can do is immediately report any suspicious activity. You are the eyes and ears of your neighborhood and business.
Anyone with information regarding vehicle burglaries or any other crime is asked to contact the Athens Police Department at 903-675-5454 or you can report a tip to Henderson County Crime Stoppers at 800-545-8477.