BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - It seems we're hearing more cases of breaking and entering vehicles when the vehicle is unlocked because of forgetfulness.
In Statesboro, police want citizens to get in the habit of locking their doors and in turn, helping to reduce crime. The police chief says one of the most effective ways to help cut down on crime in the city is also one of the simplest.
Chief Mike Broadhead took to social media this past weekend with some surprising information. During 2016 and 2017, Statesboro Police worked 501 entering auto cases. In 412 of those cases, the owner had left the vehicle unlocked. The chief says people may feel comfortable or safe to leave it unlocked outside an apartment or a busy lot, but that's just the place thieves will try in hopes of finding several targets at once.
"They're just going through parking lots, checking every door," Chief Broadhead said. "The people who use their locks - their cars just get passed on by. Anybody who leaves their car unlocked, whatever's inside is just free game for these folks."
The chief says the most troubling number is the 71 guns stolen from unlocked vehicles during that two-year span. He especially urges anyone who keeps a gun in their car or truck to use the locks. Those guns typically get used in further violent crimes. By contrast, thieves went to the trouble of breaking in for firearms in just 12 cases in that same time.
Chief Broadhead says Statesboro is no more plagued with break-ins than other cities its size. He just says it's easy to lessen the chances of being a victim.