Auto burglaries on rise, lock doors sheriff urges
For years, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne has urged residents to lock their vehicle doors to prevent burglaries, but the crimes are still one of the most common in the area.
“Typically, a thief will enter an area or neighborhood and go on foot from car to car looking for those that are unlocked,” Champagne said. “When they find one, they will rummage around inside looking for items such as guns, GPS units, purses, briefcases or any other valuables that people tend to leave inside.”
In 2010, police broke up two separate vehicle burglary rings that were operating in the parish. Theft, whether it happens from a home or car, is the largest category of crime in the area.
Champagne said that almost every vehicle burglary that occurs happens when a vehicle is unlocked.
“There seems to be no set geographical pattern at this time as these burglaries are sporadic around the parish,” he said. “They are likely committed by someone in that particular area.”
Vehicles make prime targets for burglars because some residents leave valuables in their car or truck overnight. Most of the burglaries occur in the early morning, between 2-4 a.m.
“Since so few cars are on residential streets at this hour, the perpetrators can hear and see a patrol car coming for quite a distance and need only duck or hide for a minute while the patrol vehicle passes.”
Simply locking the car and removing valuables will prevent them, Champagne said.
“These simple precautions could all but eliminate auto burglary as a crime we face.”
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