EVAN, GA (WJBF)– Columbia County investigators are cracking down on car break-ins. They say locking your doors can help.
It’s a simple task but despite how easy it is, they say many people aren’t doing it.
“Do yourself a favor and lock your vehicle,” said Sgt. Josh Bogdanow from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Columbia County investigators say thieves are targeting unlocked cars, and they’re getting away with everything from purses to laptops, even weapons.
Bogdanow said, “We even notice that sometimes people have left their keys either in the ignition or a key fob in a cupholder or the center console and not only are items stolen out of their car, but their car gets taken as well.”
He says it can happen anywhere to anyone at anytime.
“A lot of times when we see cars that are being broken into, it’s just populated areas mostly neighborhoods anywhere where there’s a large gathering of people or homes that are close by, you’ll usually see cars that are broken into, just because there are a lot of vehicles in the area,” he said.
Sgt. Bogdanow, says just this year, the sheriff’s office has investigated nearly 100 entering auto cases. He says 99 percent of those are result of people not locking their doors and falling victim to door handle pullers. While the cases reported have not been violent, Sgt. Bogdanow says that could change, especially if weapons are stolen.
“We don’t know why these people are doing what they’re doing, but the last thing we want to do is have them have a weapon on them as well,” he said.
He says the latest case they’re investigating involves a stolen 2016 white Nissan rogue out of Richmond County. He says a silver Smith & Wesson handgun was inside of the car when it was stolen. The owner admitted to leaving a spare key fob inside.
Investigators say arrests have been made regarding the stolen white Nissan, but they have not yet located the vehicle. Count on us to keep you updated as we learn more.