15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by damimi123
Patch Instagram photo by damimi123
Patch Instagram photo by damimi123
Patch Instagram photo by damimi123
Patch Instagram photo by damimi123

Holiday Shoppers: Stop a Thief, Lock Your Doors

Be smart: Lock your doors, lock your trunk.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has released yet another video extolling motorists to do the one thing they can do most simply to deter vehicle break-ins this holiday season and beyond: lock their doors.

This time, the video has no narration, until the end, as it shows a series of shoppers putting recently bought merchandise into their vehicles. The "clicks" are timed in beat to the music.

Then, there's the shopper in a rush, called back into the shopping center, who fails to do that one thing that matters most. She doesn't lock the doors and the nearby thief in sunglasses. lifting his sunglasses to get a better view, soon strikes out for the steal.

"Please make it hard on thieves," the voiceover says, "just lock it up."

It is not the first time the sheriff's office has released a crime-prevention video focused on the "one simple thing" that can go a long way to ensuring that your car is not "the car" targeted by thieves.

In a video narrated by Deputy Jeff Service, he notes that "the number one reason why you’re being targeted, is you’re having your car door open, left open, whether you forgot it or you purposely left it open because you’re only going to be [gone for] a minute."

  • Link to the video at the Brandon Patch report, Think Like a Thief To Stop a Thief

Noting that "vehicle burglaries are a crime of opportunity, and we're trying to eliminate some of those opportunities," Service adds: “Please get in the habit of locking your car doors."


What Do Burglars Look For When Targeting A Vehicle?

Showcasing a car with unlocked doors, Service says: “If I’m a bad buy, or I’m a criminal, I’m trying to figure out what vehicle, what car, I want to burglarize, this would be a prime example."

In view on the front seat, a cell phone and purse, which inside a thief knows is likely to contain personal identification and checks that can be used “later, against you, in identity theft," Service says.

The GPS receiver attached to the interior windshield?

“The bad guy doesn’t want it for his personal use,” Service adds. “He wants it for [the] cash money [he can get at a pawn shop].”


What Can You Do To Prevent Auto Burglary?

Service offers the following “good-habit” tips:

  • Take out of the car, and with you, your keys, pager, expensive electronics and purse.
  • If you can’t take them with you, lock them inside the trunk.
  • Close your windows, lock your doors, at home in the driveway, about town in the parking lot.

When there's a rash of vehicle burglaries, "most of the victims will tell us that either their car window was left open or their car door was left unlocked or some part of the vehicle was left unsecure."

Again, all it takes in most cases to stop a thief is to lock a door.

“Please help yourself out not to be a victim, by doing [that] one simple thing," Service says.

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