Local law enforcement share tips to avoid car burglaries

Local law enforcement share tips to avoid car burglaries

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Sometimes it’s as simple as pressing the lock button.

“The majority of our burglaries, I would say that 90% of them are people leaving their doors unlocked,” Captain John Deegins, with Panama City Beach Police Department, said.

Tuesday, roughly a dozen cars in Panama City Beach were broken into.

“When I say broken into, I don’t mean they’re smashing windows. It’s people who have left their doors unlocked and they’re simply pulling on the door handle and the door comes open,” Deegins said.

Two of the cars burglarized had guns left inside, which Deegins said is concerning.

“When the wrong people get hold of a firearm, it’s usually the people that aren’t able to purchase a firearm legally. So, therefore, they’re usually used in other criminal acts.”

But you can help stop this from happening.

“It’s real simple. If you’re carrying a gun in your car, make sure when you come home, you bring it in with you and you keep it in a safe place,” Deegins said.

Firearms aren’t the only things being taken from cars. Thieves are looking for anything from laptops to purses.

Police say there are a few little things you can do to avoid being the next victim. Don’t leave any valuable items out for people to see. Try not to leave your car running while unattended. Most importantly, make sure to lock the doors.

“Talking with friends, family, other community members, I’ve heard people tell me that they do not lock their cars because they’re concerned people are going to break into them anyway and they’re going to break their windows and cause more damage. That is not necessarily true,” Deegins said.

One thing these burglarized vehicles had in common is that not a single one was locked.

The investigation is ongoing and charges are still pending in this case.

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