There’s been an increase in car burglaries in Tampa since the beginning of the year. Davis Island seems to have been hit particularly hard versus other areas. Many of the burglaries have involved unlocked vehicles with tempting items left out in plain sight. Bay News 9 reported police are using magnets with a reminder for people to lock their cars in the hopes that the magnets will be placed on a fridge as a constant reminder.
Items people leave in their car by accident or with the thought that they will retrieve it later are purses, backpacks, wallets, cellphones, GPS units, designer sunglasses, and tablets.
This may sound silly but if you plan on leaving something in your car or need to go in your home and know you’re going to leave the car unlocked, send yourself a text message as a reminder that the car is open. Or set an alarm. Most of today’s smartphones have ways to set verbal reminders and alarms. Use them to your advantage.
On the City of Tampa’s website, there’s a page devoted to auto burglary prevention. They have a headline bolded stating, “Desire + Ability + Opportunity = CRIME.” So, they are definitely encouraging drivers to be proactive in not making their vehicles desirable.
Other tips the City of Tampa have posted aside from the obvious of locking your vehicle’s doors, include keeping windows closed, keeping valuables you want to remain in the car out of eyesight, parking in well-lit areas, and activate your car alarm if you have one installed.
Also, keep your garage closed at night. If this is something you realize you’re doing more and more often, leave a post-it note, or tape a note to a door that will remind your household members to lock doors, lock the car, and close the garage door at night. The constant reminder in your visual field should help you establish a routine.
Tampa PD is also stepping up patrols, especially in the areas experiencing the unlocked car burglaries. But ultimately, making it harder for thieves from getting your stuff is the best form of deterrence.