Public Service Announcement Warns Citizens of  Crimes of Opportunity

NEWS RELEASE 17-188 - AUGUST 8, 2017

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office today released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to raise awareness about vehicle burglaries on the Suncoast.

In light of the frequency of recent auto burglaries throughout Sarasota County, the video was specifically created to emphasize crimes of opportunity and remind citizens of how easily they can be avoided. In 2016, the sheriff’s office responded to 892 vehicle burglaries, nearly 87% of which occurred to unlocked vehicles. Since January 1, 2017, a total of 541 incidents have been reported and officials warn that the trend will continue so long as citizens leave their vehicles unlocked and valuables in plain sight.

“We are seeing these crimes of opportunity every day in Sarasota County,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “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.”  

The 3-minute PSA can be viewed on the agency web site, YouTube channel and social media pages.

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