SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The holiday shopping season is underway, and law enforcement wants the public to stay alert.
Hinesville Police Department said thieves aren’t just taking things new and shiny from cars -- stealing guns is becoming a serious crime.
It’s called a “crime of opportunity.”
“People that are looking to gain fortune from someone’s mistake will go car to car looking for vehicles that are unlocked,” said Capt. Tracey Howard.
Hinesville Police Department records show, in the past five months, 46 cars were broken into, with seven guns being stolen.
As holiday shopping season is underway, Capt. Howard said now is especially not the time to leave valuables or guns in the car.
“That gives them the desire and then once they get in there they find a weapon," he said. "That’s an item they can easily exchange for money or commit other criminal acts.”
Howard understands it may be a hassle, but the best place for your gun when shopping is at home or in a locked compartment in your car.
Another piece of advice for shoppers: Don’t park your car in an isolated area.
“It may help you find your car but it also may help a criminal find your car," Howard said.
During the holiday season, Hinesville police will be on bike patrol around the shopping centers.