Chatham Co. police asking residents to lock car doors after uptick in car break ins

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 4:42 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Police say people are illegally getting into your car the easiest way possible by simply opening the door.

This Wilmington Island neighborhood is one of the latest to experience car break ins and Chatham County Police say that’s because some people are not doing something as simple as locking their car doors when they get out.”

Not only were about 8 unlocked cars ravaged through in Palmetto Cove early Sunday morning, but also.

“I had a resident whose vehicle was stolen.”

Neighborhood Association President Gary Sullivan says that happened because the car door was unlocked and key was in the owner’s open garage.

Chatham County Police say they have no leads but are working with them to find out who’s responsible.

“But they can’t be everywhere and it’s up to the citizens to keep their eyes and ears open and then to do the best they can to lock their vehicles,” Gary Sullivan said.

Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley says they’ve had more of these situations happening over the past couple of weeks, especially on the east side of the county.

“I think we’ve had three or four firearms. We’ve had $14,000 in cash. We had some check that I believe were stolen.”

He says in total they have 235 entering auto crimes. Only 7 percent of those were break ins to locked cars.

“I mean they’re just running down the street or running down the neighborhood checking the handles and if it’s locked they move on to the next one. If not, they’re in and out of the car within 10 to 15 seconds,” Chief Jeff Hadley said.

He says he hopes people realize how important it is to lock your car door and take all valuables, especially guns, out of cars.

“I wish I didn’t have to sit here and plead with people to lock their vehicles but unfortunately we don’t live in a society that really allows us to do that.”