Drivers Are Partly to Blame for Rash of Car Break-Ins

You are worried about getting into an accident, breaking down or running out of gas.

But when your car is parked it should be safe right? According to local law enforcement that’s not true

Many drivers are the ones making it easier for crooks to strike.

The holiday season means more folks will be out, parking in shopping malls, or at home enjoying a family feast. But also out there, criminals who want to make a buck

“We see these people they work hard every day,” said Major Scott Lewis of the Effingham County Sheriff’s. “They come home and try to rest and then this happens.

What happens is crooks breaking into cars. in Effingham County there have been 50-60 in the last six weeks. Most of the time people don’t even know its happened. Why? Because they left their car open.

“As they walk up anything that’s visible is what they are going to look at the most,” said Major Lewis. “They’ll walk up, see if there’s anything of interest, its just as easy with the door unlocked come in, grab what they want, ease the door shut and then they walk off.”

“That’s how they are doing it in these neighborhoods. They will walk where they aren’t very visible, whatever is open..and they will go to the next one. When its locked they will seldom mess with it.”

Effingham County Major Scott Lewis says the thieves work in teams, walking around every car, looking for the easiest and quickest targets.

“In the last 4-5 years there may be 6-8 cars that they’ve had to bust in to get to it,” explains Lewis. “Physically to break in you are looking at 1-2 minutes to really bust in get something and go. Compared to a matter of seconds to ease the door open and gone.”

Despite the fact the Sheriff’s office, and reporters like here on News 3 say the same thing every year people still seem to forget, or ignore the warning, and pay for it.

“People get very complacent,” said the Major. “Our community, we are still in a good community we have good people in Effingham county. And i think in their mindset they don’t think they have to. And the times are changing.

Criminals take anything and everything they see. Electronics, phones, even spare change.

But what they usually don’t do, Major Lewis says, is steal the car.

In the same time frame we told you about in Effingham County they’ve had two cars stolen. Both of those the driver left the keys inside.

We did some checking, and in Savannah, last month there were 170 reports of thefts from vehicles– and 90 auto thefts.

Last year, there were more than 1900 thefts from vehicles and more than 850 stolen cars.

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