ATLANTA - It’s a renewed plea coming from the Atlanta Police Department for people to lock their cars and not to leave valuables inside.
This comes as police say more than 700 guns have been stolen from cars so far this year. It’s the same message you’ve heard again and again.
“It takes no time at all to steal a vehicle,” APD Officer Jarius Daugherty said.
You’ve seen surveillance video like before showing thieves on the prowl looking into cars eagerly hoping you left things for them to take.
The Atlanta Police Department urges you to not just lock your doors but to remove anything of value from inside.
“People stop at a gas station or grocery store and think they are going to run in and run back out and the time it takes them to go into the store someone has already jumped in their cars and taken off,” Daugherty said.
Another problem officers are facing are more people are leaving their guns and spare keys inside.
“Over the past 28 days we have seen quite an increase with Zone Two being hit the hardest,” Daugherty said.
Police say stealing your cars are getting easier for thieves thanks to technology.
“They don’t have to worry about finding a key now a days. It’s all about pressing the brake pedal and pushing the power button,” Daugherty said.
In 2019, 988 firearms were reported stolen from vehicles in Atlanta. Two hundred and one of those guns were in Buckhead alone. So far this year, people have reported more than 700 guns from cars inside the city limits.
“Your gun does no good for you if you’re leaving it in your vehicle,” Daugherty said. “There are lock boxes that are sold that can tether to your vehicle and give your gun more security however I would argue just not bringing it with you if you know you can’t take it into a place that you’re going.”
So what happens if you’re gun is stolen from inside?
“Have those serial numbers with you or if you can memorize it. That’s one way we as police can identify the gun is actually stolen,” Daugherty said. “There are lock boxes that are sold that can tether to your vehicle and give your gun more security however I would argue just not bringing it with you if you know you can’t take it into a place that you’re going.”
Police say if your vehicle is stolen do not try to go after them.
“This is property. It can be recovered, returned or replaced. We can’t replace your life,” Daugherty said.