Sheriff Knight Reminds Citizens to Lock Car Doors

                                                                                                              NEWS RELEASE #: 16-172 - SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is reminding citizens to take one simple step to help prevent auto burglaries: lock the doors.

Nearly a dozen vehicles were burglarized and one vehicle stolen in the Sorrento Bayside area of Nokomis over the weekend. In every case, the vehicles were left unlocked. The sheriff's office urges citizens to remember that auto burglary is a crime of opportunity. Typically a thief will enter a community, try vehicle door handles and rummage through the ones they can open. Many times they take loose change, prescription medications, electronics and other valuables that are inside.

Please consider the following safety tips to protect yourself:
• 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 it's most visible.
• Store anything valuable out of sight – bring anything extremely valuable with you.

"Most vehicle burglaries are completely preventable," said Sheriff Knight. "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. Unfortunately, auto burglaries can lead to more dangerous crimes down the road."

Another good deterrent is a vigilant neighborhood. Residents know who belongs in their community and who doesn't. 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.