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Police chief urges public to lock vehicles

Car break-ins are typically more common during the summer months and Chief Drakeford with the Washington Police Department is reminding the public to take preventative measures to avoid becoming a victim of a crime. 

“The biggest thing is removing valuables from your car. Don’t leave weapons, pocketbooks, computers or any electronics in your car,” Drakeford said. 

In 2018 and 2019, the average number of reported larcenies increased by 6 during the summer months of June, July and August when compared to the rest of the year according to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Index Crime report for the Washington Police Department.

“We’ve gone around neighborhoods when we have a rise in break ins and we go around and tell people to lock their cars. During night rounds, we’ve had officers observe doors open, trunks up, lights on in the car and things like that,” Drakeford said.  

Leaving doors unlocked or opened while a vehicle is unattended can lead to crimes of opportunity, which occur when a perpetrator sees a chance to commit a crime at that moment and takes it. These crimes are not planned prior to the opportunity presents itself and have little to no premeditation. 

“If people would just take a moment to make sure their cars are locked, it would bring a significant decrease in our larceny and breaking and entering reports in motor vehicles,” Drakeford said.