Blue + Lock It Up + You = Keep Your Valuables & Prevent Crime

SARASOTA, Fla. – Feb. 11, 2015 – 8:30 a.m.

The Sarasota Police Department wants to remind visitors and residents to lock their vehicles. You can reduce the chances of losing your valuables with one simple step: Lock It Up! Since January 1, 2015, 45 vehicle burglaries have been reported to the Sarasota Police Department. Out of the 45 vehicle burglaries, 35 of the vehicles were left unlocked by the owner. Every time you leave your vehicle, make it a habit to lock it up.

Here are a few safety reminders to help you protect yourself and your valuables:

• Roll up your windows, lock your vehicle and take the keys. If you leave your vehicle unlocked, even in your driveway while running into your home for a few minutes, it’s an open invitation to criminals. Never leave your keys in the ignition and never leave an extra "hidden" key in your vehicle.

• Make sure to keep valuables and important items with you or hide them in your vehicle – If you’re going to hide valuables, do it before your park your car. That way, criminals who may be watching nearby, aren’t watching you hide your valuables. Don’t verbalize your intent to place valuables in your trunk.

• Sarasota Police Department investigations reveal victims of unlocked vehicle burglaries have left purses, wallets and other valuables in plain sight for criminals to steal. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in.

• Be aware of your surroundings. Look for suspicious people. Report it to law enforcement.

• Record serial numbers of valuables and property. If the items in your vehicle are ever stolen, it can help identify a suspect if they decide to pawn your property.

• Don’t park in secluded areas. Make sure to park your vehicle in a well-lit area, ideally in an area that is monitored by parking attendants. Always remember, if you see something suspicious, say something. Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.