Sarasota police: Always lock your car and bring your valuables with you

·1 min read

The Sarasota Police Department has responded to 22 vehicle burglaries between Jan. 1 and Jan. 24 – all but two in vehicles left unlocked.

In two of the incidents, firearms were stolen from unlocked vehicles.

The number of vehicles burglarized so far this year is higher than the same time last year when there were 16, and in 2020, when there were 15.

The burglaries were spread throughout the city. Zone 8, which stretches from Harbor Acres to the city boundary in Pinecraft and from Hyde Park Street to Novus Street, had the highest number of vehicle burglaries as of Jan. 24, with six incidents.

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Genevieve Judge, public information officer for Sarasota Police Department, advises people to take their valuables with them when they leave their car. If they can’t do this, she recommends keeping the items out of plain sight, such as in the car’s trunk or under a seat.

And people should always lock their cars, she noted.

Judge said car burglaries are a “crime of opportunity.”

“In a lot of cases, what we see happen is folks that are trying to break into cars will just walk by cars and start grabbing door handles,” she said, “and as soon they grab one that opens, they’ll get in and out within seconds and get what they can and then move on.”

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Anne Snabes covers city and county government for the Herald-Tribune. You can contact her at asnabes@gannett.com or (941) 228-3321 and follow her on Twitter at @a_snabes.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota crime: SPD has responded to 22 vehicle burglaries January