Car burglary stock art

THE ISSUE: Car burglars hit Citrus Springs neighborhood.

OUR OPINION: Lock your car.

Car burglars hit a Citrus Springs neighborhood recently, and at least four cars were broken into and various items were stolen, including a firearm.

According to the sheriff’s office, it appears that the car burglars went down the street from one car to another — and all of the cars broken into were unlocked.

Deputies have asked for help from anyone who might know who was involved with the burglaries, or from anyone with video monitoring along West Gardenia Drive who would share this information with the Sheriff’s office.

This is the second time this year that there has been a string of vehicle burglaries in Citrus Springs.

In May, two local residents were charged with 27 burglaries where they stole a variety of items from unlocked cars, including electronics, knives, cash and credit cards.

According to the Burglar Free Zone website, automobile burglaries are what is known as a “30 second” crime. This refers to the fact that it takes 30 seconds or less to get into an unlocked car, grab what’s in view and get out.

And many drivers make burglary easy by failing to practice basic security measures. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. For example:

-- 40% of auto owners don’t hide their valuables

-- 50% leave mail in their vehicle

-- 25% leave a purse or wallet in the car

-- 33% leave bank statements or other valuables in their car

While law enforcement is looking for those responsible for the recent Citrus Springs burglaries, there are simple steps that can lessen the chance of your being broken into.

-- Don’t leave valuables in your car, or at least keep them out of sight

-- Unload valuables or shopping bags as soon as you get home

-- Lock all doors and windows

-- If you have a vehicle alarm or anti-theft device, use them, even when you are home

Of course, none of these measures guarantee that your car will never be burglarized, but they will lower that possibility, and they will protect you from the loss of valuables if a burglary occurs.

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