The Chattanooga Police Department released the following information regarding reducing auto crimes.
Items left in plain sight, in unlocked vehicles, are inviting criminals to help themselves to your possessions and your vehicle. Watch the video and remember to follow the simple message to “Lock It, Hide It, Hold It.” It could make the difference between keeping your personal property or a thief taking it all.
LOCK IT: Lock your vehicle every time you leave it unattended.
HIDE IT: Hide your items. Secure your firearms properly. Remember what may not seem to have a great deal of value to you might have value to a thief.
HOLD IT: If you can’t Lock it or Hide it, then Hold it. Taking your items with you will help decrease the chances it will be stolen.
From Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020, 50 percent (848 of 1,710) of stolen vehicle reports indicate that the vehicles were easy targets because the keys were left inside the vehicle or readily made available. Furthermore, nearly 30 percent (245 of 848) of those vehicles taken were also left running.
Additionally, a review of Theft From Motor Vehicle reports in Chattanooga from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2020 indicates 40 percent of the vehicles entered (1,204 of 3,001) were easy targets because the vehicles were left unlocked.
Items stolen from unlocked vehicles include purses, wallets, laptops, phones, and firearms...222 firearms. That number is likely more due to the reports of unknown entry which could include up to an additional 136 firearms.
“Time and time again CPD Officers are linking evidence which shows a stolen firearm is used in a violent crime in our community,” said Chief David Roddy. “We need less people contributing to violent crime and more people being responsible with securing or removing guns from their unattended vehicles.”
Some thefts involve a broken window or a pried door and those cases aren’t often preventable. But, the ones involving unsecured vehicles can be significantly reduced by locking vehicles and removing guns and other personal possessions. No neighborhood or area of Chattanooga is exempt. Remember, you hold the key to reducing crime.