Sheriff’s Office working to raise public awareness about preventing the burglaries of vehicles

Public service announcement produced in wake of continuing incidents

A scene from the public service announcement shows a ‘thief’ entering an unlocked vehicle. Image courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has released a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness about vehicle burglaries on the Suncoast, the office has announced.

“In light of the frequency” of auto burglaries throughout Sarasota County, a news release says, “the video was specifically created to emphasize crimes of opportunity” and remind people how easily such crimes can be avoided.

In 2016, the Sheriff’s Office responded to 892 vehicle burglaries, nearly 87% of which involved unlocked vehicles, the release points out. Since Jan. 1, a total of 541 incidents have been reported, the release adds. Sheriff’s Office officials warn that the trend will continue as long as people “leave their vehicles unlocked and valuables in plain sight,” the release notes.

“We are seeing these crimes of opportunity every day in Sarasota County,” said Sheriff Tom Knight in the release. “What’s most disappointing is these numbers would be drastically lower if citizens just took a few seconds to slow down and put safety first. This is really an educational campaign with a goal of educating our citizens and reminding them that leaving valuables in plain sight is asking for trouble,” he added in the release.

The 3-minute PSA may be viewed on the agency website, YouTube channel and social media pages.

Production of the PSA was coordinated by the agency’s Community Affairs Office.