Sheriff’s Office warning the public to be wary of crimes of opportunity

Tips provided to prevent burglaries from vehicles

The Sheriff's Office administrative facilities are on Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota. Photo courtesy Sheriff's Office
The Sheriff’s Office administrative facilities are on Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota. Photo courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to help crack down on burglaries targeting items in vehicles — “a crime of opportunity that can be stopped in a few simple steps,” the office has announced.

Over the weekend of July 16-17, the Sheriff’s Office responded to several burglaries reported about vehicles in the Fruitville and Cattlemen Road corridors, including incidents at Benderson Park, a news release says. One arrest was made, it notes. Investigators “are using this opportunity to remind the public that crimes like these can be prevented if citizens take a proactive approach to protecting their valuables,” the vehicle adds.

The top five common sense tips to prevent vehicle burglaries follow, as provided in the release:

  • Keep windows closed and doors locked. The majority of local vehicle burglaries involve unlocked cars. Those crimes would not happen if the doors did not open, the release points out.
  • Hide your valuables, preferably in a locked trunk. Even criminals know to check the glove box, under a towel or beneath the seat.
  • If you have an SUV or another model with an open cargo area, get a retractable fitted cover that will hide items in that part of the vehicle.
  • Stow your items before you park. Experienced thieves stake out parking lots to watch for people putting valuables in vehicle trunks.
  • Trust your instincts. Avoid parking in unlit or overly concealed areas. If you see someone suspicious, tell security or contact local law enforcement officers.

“The best defense is to not have valuables in your vehicle, so plan ahead,” the release advises. “Think about where you are going, what items you absolutely need and what you could leave at the office or at home,” it says.