Crime Trends: Locking car doors simple step to reduce crime


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is bringing you a new series about crime trends in your neighborhoods.

One trend that every city, every county, and every police department is dealing with is car break-ins. Bringing that trend down is something that requires a little bit of work from everyone. 

No one is immune to car break-ins, even in a quiet Suffolk neighborhood. 

“Noticed that the door was open and I had, the console and the glove compartment had been gone through,” said Suffolk resident Christopher Hicks.

It didn’t take long for Hicks to realize his backpack was missing, and he wasn’t the only person targeted.

Hicks said, “Police were going door to door looking for other people who may have been victimized that morning.”

It’s a story that’s all too familiar at the Suffolk Police Department.

“Since April of last year, we averaged over 47 tamperings and car break-ins per month,” said Sergeant Casey Thomas, with Suffolk Police’s Criminal Investigations.

Thomas says thieves are typically not smashing car windows. Instead, they are looking for unlocked doors.

“We all do it, we all forget, we get trusting, we get complacent sometimes,” she said. “Lock your cars, take out your valuables. Even if you think you’ve locked it, double check it before you go to bed at night.”

If someone gets into your car, even if they don’t take anything or you left the doors unlocked, you should still call police. 

Thomas said, “You may have that little piece of information or that little piece of evidence that we might be able to collect that could help us catch these criminals. While it may be something as simple as tampering and rummaging through your glove box, the next person might’ve actually had their vehicle stolen out of their driveway.”

The people who broke into Hicks’ car told police they came from Newport News, because they heard people in Suffolk don’t lock their car doors. Those men were arrested thanks to surveillance video from another neighbor.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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