SAVANNAH, GA. (June 9, 2014): Metro police are reminding members of the public to lock their cars and take their keys after an increase in reports of thefts, particularly those involving firearms left in the vehicles.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police have noted that the decline in reports of entering autos has begun reversing as summer months arrive and students are out of school. They are warning residents that most cases occur when thieves encounter unlocked cars or can see items of value in the vehicle.
“This goes beyond being problematic,” said Police Chief Julie Tolbert. “In addition to the crimes being committed by entering the vehicles and taking items, too often the thieves are finding keys to the vehicles and, lately, we have found an increase in weapons left in the automobiles as well. Weapons should never be left in vehicles.”

Stolen vehicles have been used in other crimes – burglaries, robberies and even shootings – that have been reported. Just as often, weapons recovered from suspects have been found to have been stolen, sometimes years earlier.

Police offer these suggestions:
• Lock your vehicles at all times.
• Remove any items that could even appear to be valuable or at least hide them in the trunk or out of sight.
• Be sure to remove any keys from the vehicle, including spare keys to the vehicle and even those to buildings – residences, businesses or storage buildings.
• Try to park in areas best illuminated at night and offering the best line of sight from your residence.
• Call police if you see anything or anyone who appears to be suspicious near vehicles.
• Maintain records of serial numbers or other identifying marks of valuables you may leave in the vehicles.
• Never leave cash in vehicles.