| Sheriff Jay Koon |

We recently ran some numbers on the amount of motor vehicle break-ins in 2019. Did you know that 85% of them were left unlocked?

While there’s no surefire way to prevent car break-ins, there are some easy ways to reduce the chances of becoming a victim. For starters, make your vehicle a much less appealing target. Thieves look for opportunities. Make them “work” for their loot, and they’re apt to move on to an easier target. With car break-ins, they’re usually looking for a small payoff. What this type of thief wants is a quick thrill—or maybe a little extra revenue—for as little work as possible. By making your car a harder target for these people, you make it a less desirable option.

You can take steps to help stop thieves. The first step is locking your car doors. Remove your valuables; including guns, purses and electronics. Take the set of spare keys out of your vehicle, then roll up the windows and lock your doors. Your console or glove box is not a mobile gun safe.

Headed into the gas station or convenience store? Even for just a minute, it is unlawful to leave your vehicle running unattended. Many motor vehicles are stolen this way.

And please, don’t leave your car title inside your vehicle. Registrations can be reissued, but it can be difficult to get a replacement title. Store it in a safe place at home.

If you’re prone to forgetting to lock your vehicle, set reminders for yourself to check it before bed. A phone alarm or a sticky note you’ll see before going to sleep can be helpful.

Don’t let the next call we respond to be a vehicle “let-in.”