SAVANNAH, GA (April 8, 2015): With rising temperatures and more time spent outdoors, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police urge citizens to be mindful of the security of their vehicles.

Traditionally, crime increases during warmer months. Since this time last year, SCMPD’s jurisdiction experienced  a 33% drop in entering auto cases, but a 56% rise in auto thefts. Metro Crime Prevention Officers urge citizens to take proactive steps to avoid being targeted by thieves.

CPO Bryan Harrell stated, “Having personal property stolen is an awful experience.” Harrell continues, “While thefts of and from motor vehicles are among of the most prevalent crimes we see here in Chatham County; they’re also the most preventable if we all chip in.”

Metro CPOs recommend carefully checking that all vehicle windows and doors are tightly sealed and locked. Citizens should remove all valuables from their vehicles. Valuables that cannot be removed, should be completely out of sight.  Avoid leaving spare keys or weapons of any kind in unoccupied automobiles. Failure to do so could result in stolen vehicles or their contents being used to commit crimes, such as burglaries, robberies and even shootings.

SCMPD offers the following vehicle security tips:

–       Always lock your vehicle.

–       Hide or remove all valuables.

–       Never leave weapons in unoccupied vehicles.

–       Never leave keys inside of the vehicle. Spare vehicle keys and even keys to residences, businesses or storage facilities could appeal to thieves.

–       Park in well-lit areas.

–       Report all suspicious activity to police.

–       Maintain records of serial numbers or other identifying marks of valuables you may leave in the vehicles.