By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tip on preventing thefts from autos
Guest column
Geoge Stagmeier chief HPD
George Stagmeier is chief of the Hinesville Police Department. He came to the HPD in 1984 and became chief in 1999. - photo by File photo

People entering automobiles and taking things that don’t belong to them has become all too common. The Hinesville Police Department has handled a number of cases that could have been avoided if certain precautions had been taken. Most thefts from automobiles are crimes of opportunity through unlocked doors and open windows.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of a theft of items from your vehicle:

1. Lock your car doors and close your windows, even when your car is parked at home.

2. Make sure vehicle alarms are activated.

3. Park in well-lit areas that are frequented by pedestrians. Avoid parking in isolated areas.

4. Do not leave any items visible in your car, especially items of value such as cellphones, purses and laptops.

5. Do not leave money visible. Even loose coins in a cup holder are enough to entice someone to enter your vehicle.

6. Store property in the car’s trunk or in areas not visible from the outside. Things such as luggage, shopping bags and clothing containers should be safely out of site.

7. Secure the trunk, hatches and truck bed-mounted toolboxes.

The most important thing you can do is to call 911 to report crime or any suspicious activity. You have to be the eyes and ears of your neighborhood, so it is also beneficial to communicate with your neighbors to develop a partnership in monitoring suspicious people.

While guards such as locks and alarms can provide a degree of protection and deterrence, following these tips and being an alert, proactive citizen can aid in reducing these thefts.

Sign up for our e-newsletters