Sheriff’s Office reminding people they can prevent burglaries by locking their vehicles and keeping windows closed

Such crimes are typically those of opportunity, the office points out

Image courtesy Sheriff's Office
Image courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents and visitors to take one simple step to help prevent burglaries from autos: Lock the doors.

Nearly a dozen vehicles were burglarized and one was stolen in the Sorrento Bayside area of Nokomis over the weekend, the office announced on Sept. 19. In every case, the vehicle was left unlocked, a news release pointed out.

“The Sheriff’s Office urges citizens to remember that auto burglary is a crime of opportunity,” the release continues. Typically, a thief will enter a community, try vehicle door handles and rummage through the vehicles he or she can open, the release explains. “Many times they take loose change, prescription medications, electronics and other valuables that are inside,” the release adds.

“Please consider the following safety tips to protect yourself,” the release continues:

  • Lock ALL of your vehicle’s doors and never leave windows cracked.
  • Leave no trace of valuables in your car; docking stations and cables indicate expensive electronics.
  • NEVER leave your keys inside your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas or in busy locations where the vehicle will be most visible.
  • Store anything valuable out of sight — take anything extremely valuable with you.

“Most vehicle burglaries are completely preventable,” said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. “We can’t stress enough how important it is to take that extra step to lock your doors. Once a criminal has access to your garage door opener, they have access to your home and your family,” he added. “Unfortunately, auto burglaries can lead to more dangerous crimes down the road.”

Another good deterrent is a vigilant neighborhood, the release points out. Residents know who belongs in their community and who does not, the release notes. “If you see suspicious activity, even if you aren’t certain the person is committing a crime, call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency number, 316-1201, so law enforcement can investigate.”