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Anderson: Lock it or lose it
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Bulloch County Sheriff's  deputies responded to six calls last week where victims reported valuables were taken from 10 different  vehicles.  In all those cases, the windows were not shattered; convertible tops were not slashed nor were the items stolen after someone picked a lock.
 Each and every victim had left a car door unlocked, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
“We have had a rash of entering auto cases last week, around the north end of Lakeview Road, and every car was unlocked,” he said. “As the sheriff's office continues to work entering auto cases, 99 percent of them are because of cars left unlocked.”
Statesboro Police warned citizens last week that leaving valuables in a car, in plain sight, invited break-ins. Now Anderson is joining the warning that leaving a car unlocked, with valuables inside, is an invitation for someone to take what they want.
He referred to a slogan created by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, one he said sums it up: “Lock it or lose it.”
Anderson wants to drive the point home to citizens that their valuables - cash, cameras, lap top computers - anything of value - can and likely will be stolen unless citizens lock their doors. Better yet, don't keep valuables in your car or truck where they can be seen and stolen, he said.
    Thieves look for items that are easily pawned or sold such as GPS units, expensive sunglasses,  wallets and purses, tools, electronics and especially cash, he said.
Traditionally, when colleges and universities begin classes, entering auto incident increase. Law enforcement officers also see a rise in automobile break-ins during the holiday seasons. Prevention can save a person from the pain of losing expensive and sentimental valuables, Anderson said.
    Anderson offered tips for citizens to keep their cars safe, and added the same principle applies to a home:
-   Lock your vehicle, putting keys in your pocket or purse. Over 95 percent of entering auto incidents involve unlocked vehicles.
 -   Park in well lit, busy areas as close to your home or business as possible.
-    Don't invite trouble by leaving packages or valuables in plain sight. If you can't take tem with you, conceal them.
-   Activate your alarm system if you have one.
-   Record serial numbers of any electronics or other items if you must leave them in your vehicle.
-    Report suspicious people or vehicles in your area. Nosy neighbors often solve crimes.
-  Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The majority of thefts form vehicles can be prevented by simply locking the doors.

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