The Shelby County Sheriff's Department has launched a campaign to help holiday shoppers prevent becoming theft victims.
The new campaign is called "Lock It. Hide It. Keep It." and deputies hope it will lower the rate of auto-related property crimes.
Chief Deputy John Samaniego says that between 90 and 95 percent of the 241 car break ins last year involved unlocked vehicles. He also says that property crimes are higher around the holidays.
"People make it available to thieves, they take advantage of it. It's always good to hide stuff in the trunk, out of sight," he said.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Sheriff's Office asks residents to:
• Lock It: Lock your vehicle every time you leave it unattended and always lock your valuables in the trunk.
• Hide It: If you don't have a trunk, hide valuables under the seats, in the glove box, or other compartments within the vehicle.
• Keep It: Personal responsibility is the best prevention to safeguard personal property and to prevent becoming a victim.
Deputies will be reaching out to neighborhood associations and apartment complexes to spread the word.
"Our greatest resource in keeping our communities safe is the partnership we have with our citizens. It is my hope that this effort will remind our residents to be watchful and safeguard their valuables, which I suspect will have a negative impact on property crimes involving vehicles," said Sheriff Chris Curry about the initiative.
Anyone who spots suspicious behavior may contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at phone number (205) 669-4181 or use the Sheriff's Office website to report crime tips www.shelbyso.com. If there's an emergency, call 911.
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