The season for holiday shopping is almost here and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office is spreading the word about a prevalent holiday crime, vehicle burglary.
Sheriff Mark Hebert urges residents of St. Mary and elsewhere to "get into the routine of locking doors and placing valuables out of sight or in a secure location" in your car.
The Sheriff has provided three common misconceptions one may have about vehicle burglaries and how those ideas can put you at risk of becoming a victim of a future crime.
If they want to get in, they'll find a way in.
Burglaries that involve forced entry, such as breaking windows, do not occur randomly. Thieves will not take the time to break in if there is nothing to tempt them. Without a clear goal in sight, a locked vehicle will likely be bypassed for an easier target. Take away a thief's desire to enter your vehicle by removing valuables and any signs that there may be something of value in your vehicle. That includes docking stations, charging or connecting cables, garage door openers, empty shopping bags, backpacks, and other bags. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in the trunk.
I'll only be gone a few seconds.
It only takes seconds for a thief to steal your belongings. One common practice thieves use is to walk down rows of parked vehicles pulling on each door to see which ones are unlocked. Don't leave any window open or even cracked open, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs. Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running and keys in the ignition.
There's no reason to report the crime because there's nothing police can do to about it.
St. Mary Sheriff's Office investigators are skilled in collecting evidence from vehicle burglary scenes and solving the crimes. The information you have may aid in solving other crimes under investigation. Reporting all crimes allows the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office to track criminal trends, respond to those trends, and alert the public.
The Sheriff says that any suspicious activity should be reported directly to local law enforcement. Residents of St. Mary Parish can report crimes to the sheriff's office at (337)-828-1960 or (985)-384-1622.