Sheriff’s Office Campaign Urges Residents to Lock Vehicles | Local News

In addition to the spring flowers, residents of Jefferson County see signs spouting along the roadsides.

Towards the end of April, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began posting signs around the county asking residents to remember to lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight.

“Most of the crime we see is attributed to unlocked or unsecured vehicles, and it is very rare for suspects to break into vehicles unless there is something visible of value,” he said. said Sheriff Dave Marshak.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Grant Bissell said the Sheriff’s Office purchased 150 signs with a large Sheriff’s Office badge in the middle and the saying, “Together we can reduce crime.” Remember to keep valuables out of sight and to lock your vehicle. “

The sheriff’s office paid $ 919 for the signs, Bissell said.

Marshak said the signs were mostly placed in northern Jefferson County subdivisions near I-55, Hwy. 21 and Hwy. 30.

“We continue to post signs in strategic locations,” Marshak said. “Target areas include subdivisions close to major roads, where suspicious activity has been predominant.”

The sheriff’s office received reports of 107 vehicle thefts and 83 vehicle thefts between January 1 and April 30, and many of those thefts were from unlocked vehicles, Bissell said.

He said 444 vehicle thefts were reported to the sheriff’s office in 2020 and 363 vehicle thefts were reported in 2019, after receiving 316 vehicle theft reports in 2018.

In 2019, the Sheriff’s Office began tracking the number of stolen vehicles that had been left unlocked.

The agency is also tracking the number of thefts by someone the victim knew and had access to the keys, Bissell said.

He said that in 2020, 375 of the 444 stolen vehicles had either been unlocked or stolen by someone with access to the keys.

Of the 363 vehicles stolen in 2019, Bissell said 304 were left unlocked or someone with access to the keys stole them.

The sheriff’s office also reported 480 vehicle thefts in 2020, and just like when vehicles are stolen, items are typically stolen from unlocked vehicles.

“When we make it easier, the criminals will continue to return to the same areas,” Marshak said.

The sheriff’s office has received positive feedback on the signs, including requests from residents for signs to be placed in their subdivisions, Marshak said.

“We didn’t expect to get this,” he said. “If anyone asks for one, we’ll try to get one for them.”

The sheriff’s office has also received complaints that the signs shame victims who have had items stolen from their unlocked vehicles.

“These signs are not about the shame of the victim,” Marshak said.

“You see the posts online where people think we’re trying to blame the victims. All we’re looking for is some help from the community to tackle crime. “

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