The Amount of Car Break-Ins in Richmond County has Almost Doubled

Richmond County Sheriff's Office is warning everyone to lock their cars!

The amount of car break ins in Richmond County has almost doubled since this time last year.

These statistics from the Sheriff's Office show the last two weekends of December 2014 plus the first two weekends of January 2015. The county had a total of 38 car break-ins.

They took those numbers and compared them to the last 2 weekends of December 2015 and the first two weekends of January 2016. During this time the county worked a total of 62 car break-ins.

It's estimated that each year thieves steal with more than a billion dollars worth of personal items from car break ins alone.

They aren't just stealing from cars with unlocked doors, they're breaking windows and taking anything and everything with value.

"It's only going to take my 5 seconds, maybe less time than that to just smash it, grab it, and take off running," Sergeant Shane McDaniel said.

Sergeant Shane McDaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office is asking people to take the extra few seconds to hide your valuables.

"I think what we are seeing is that people are still in a hurry, they're not taking that extra 30 seconds to collect their items from their vehicle, or even secure their door," McDaniel explained.

Another common mistake people make is leaving their cords plugged into the car. When thieves come by they know that something has to connect to the other end and that might be inside of your vehicle.

"I try to make sure that they don't see anything that they want to take so if I hide everything I figure they won't actually bother the car," Evita Cooper says she hides her things in the trunk or under seats.

These criminals aren't just looking for what's inside your car, they'll take your car if the opportunity presents itself.

"We're finally experiencing some winter weather, so of course you go outside, you turn your car on, turn your heater on, let the rear view defrost, got it going, but then you fail to remember to lock the door and then 3 to 5 minutes later you go outside and your car is gone," McDaniel warns.

He says in this case drivers need to remember their license plate numbers and file an incident report immediately.

We also spoke with an Allstate insurance agent who says they only cover forced entry break ins.

This means if you leave your car unlocked and someone steals your things, insurance will not cover that.

So make sure to lock up!

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