Dothan, AL - You pull into your driveway or parking lot, and get out of the car. Before you go inside what's the first thing you should do?
"The first thing we do is lock the door. We hear enough about break-ins in the neighborhoods going on and we just don't want to risk it. So we've always locked our doors," said Rick Reivitt, Dothan.
In the past two weeks Dothan police have responded to an increase in car break-ins. Many have been in neighborhoods. Police say the criminals aren't having to work hard.
Police have made at least one arrest in the break-ins. No names are being released, but officials hope this will lead to more arrests.
"I know we all feel a sense of security in our own homes. Vehicles in driveways of homes are often times left unattended and unsecured. What we want to do is just heighten your awareness and lock your doors," said Dothan Police Sergeant Rachel David.
It may sound simple, but someone can easily walk through the parking lot and check a couple of doors. If they find on that's open they have easy access to your valuables. That means your GPS could now be theirs.
"If you value your stuff lock it up," Reivitt.
Common sense that could save you a headache and your valuables.
David also has some other tips.
• Lock your doors! Many people leave their doors unlocked in public as well as in their driveway. The simple act of ALWAYS locking the doors may be the deterrent that keeps your vehicle from being victimized.
• Do not keep the keys in the vehicle, especially in plain sight, i.e. in the ignition!
• Park in well lit areas.
• Packages and purses should be in the trunk if possible, if not well concealed. GPS and similar electronic items have been “Hot Items” lately. They are easily seen when mounted in the windshield and can be grabbed in a second. These type devices should not be in plain view.
• Use a locking gas cap.
• Know your tag number. State law requires the tag receipt be in the vehicle. Comply with this law but make a photocopy to keep in another place in the event the vehicle is stolen.
• Inventory the property in your vehicle such as the CD player, electronic devices, speakers, etc. and record all serial numbers. Engrave your property with your name as this will aid in the recovery of stolen property!