GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett County Police Department is canvassing neighborhoods handing out Auto Theft Report Cards. It's not a ticket, but it's a look at how well you're protecting your car from thieves. Officers are calling them report cards, and you might see one on your windshield letting you know how well you did keeping yourself from being victimized.
The most obvious item on the checklist officers look for: are your car doors locked? Between 30 percent to 50 percent of cars broken into in Gwinnett County over the past three months had unlocked doors.
While some may leave doors unlocked to avoid getting their windows smashed by crooks, Corporal Wilbert Rundles strongly recommends against that because thieves can still get something from your car whether any damage is done or not.
"They can steal something that has your personal information, your insurance card, your tag receipts, whatever you may have in there," said Corporal Rundles. "They may steal just your pocket change, which is meaningless to you, but it's allowing people to get more and more bold as they commit these crimes."
Other tips to keep you from getting broken into:
- Don't leave cords or cables in plain sight. That shows criminals you own devices to connect to those cords, and those devices may be in the car.
- Don't crack your windows open to help with heat inside your car. This gives criminals an easy way to unlock your vehicle.
- Don't leave garage door openers in your car. Carry this with you. If thieves find your address, they can steal your remote and get access to your home as well.
- Don't load valuable into the trunk in a public place. Criminals often watch people in parking lots move valuables into the trunk, and then they know which cars to target. Avoid this by loading your valuables in the trunk at home or in a more private place.
- Hide purses and bags completely out of sight. Placing something under your seat does not guarantee it's out of sight. The trunk is the best place for valuables if you must leave them in the car.
The Gwinnett County Police Department has several free crime prevention courses they offer to members of the community. If you're interested, visit the department's site for more TIPS https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/departments/police/crimepreventionunit or available seminars https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/departments/police/crimepreventionunit/seminars
You can also call:
- West: 678-442-6553
- South: 678-442-5032
- North: 678-442-5005
- East: 678-442-5656
- Central: 678-442-6504
- Crime Free Multi-Housing 770-513-5116