The following is a Crime Prevention Advisory sent out by the Locust Police Department

VEHICLE BREAK-IN PREVENTION ADVISORY

Unlocked vehicle break-ins are still occurring on inconsistent occasions in Stanly County and Locust.  There is no concrete evidence that these break-ins are all being perpetrated by the same individual(s) however, the method has stayed consistent.  These thieves are checking for unlocked doors on vehicles and upon finding one, they search through the cars looking for easily removed electronics such as GPS devices, firearms, and money including small amounts of loose change.  The perpetrators are even stealing the vehicle if they find a key inside the vehicle anywhere.  These individuals are also not just checking a couple of vehicles, they are canvassing entire areas including neighborhoods, looking for unlocked vehicles to steal from.  

The Locust Police Department is again reminding all citizens of the following preventative measures:

-  Keep all items of value OUT of your vehicle(s), especially in the late night and early morning hours.

-  KEEP YOUR VEHICLE(S) LOCKED AND YOUR WINDOWS UP WHEN YOU WILL BE AWAY FROM YOUR VEHICLE(S), EVEN IF YOU WILL ONLY BE AWAY FOR A FEW MINUTES.  It is still a good idea to keep your vehicle(s) secure even if you have removed all valuables.

-  Record serial numbers for any items of value that have a serial number and keep this information in a safe place you will remember.  Stolen items can be identified through serial numbers if they are attempted to be sold or pawned by thieves.

- NEVER EVER keep a key for the vehicle anywhere near the vehicle.  Keep any extra keys in secure locations away from the vehicle.  Do not assume you have the “perfect” spot for your back-up key.

- If you notice through press sources that one or more individuals has been arrested for vehicle break-ins in Stanly County, do not assume that the problem has been solved.  Breaking in unlocked vehicles has become a major problem nationwide and obviously the same individuals are not responsible for break-ins everywhere.

-  If your vehicle is equipped with a car alarm and you hear it go off in the late night or early morning hours, call 911 as soon as possible.

-  If you observe ANY suspicious activity around your residence or neighborhood (suspicious vehicles, persons, or activity), especially in the late night and early morning hours, you may call 911 for emergencies and (704)986-3700 for non-emergencies in Stanly County, (704)920-3000 for non-emergencies in Cabarrus County sections of Locust.  It is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.

-  If you do happen to see someone suspicious at your vehicle, do NOT attempt to engage this individual and put yourselves in harm’s way.  Please dial 911 as soon as possible and tell the dispatcher everything that you have witnessed. 

The Locust Police Department patrols all neighborhoods and areas in Locust however, be aware that if these individuals are on foot while in neighborhoods, it is easy to hide in the shadows if they notice a vehicle driving down the road.  The Locust Police Department is asking all citizens to help us prevent break-ins and thefts in our city.  Simple tasks such as locking a door or taking an item inside with you at night can make all the difference in preventing the loss of valuable items, and will help to discourage thieves from committing larcenies in Locust.  Remember that these types of thefts are “crimes of opportunity”. If the opportunity is taken away, the chances of a crime being committed will also be greatly reduced. 

Finally, if you have any information at all about any individuals that may be responsible or any suspicious activity that may be related to these vehicle break-ins, please contact the non-emergency number for Stanly Communications at (704)986-3700, the Locust Police Department at (704)888-4744, or your local law enforcement agency.  For more crime prevention and safety tips please contact the Locust Police Department or you may request materials by contacting Officer Shew by email at jbslpd@gmail.com.