Lock your doors: Car burglaries are on the rise

- For Sarasota Police Sergeant Demetri Konstantopoulous car burglaries are keeping him a lot busier these days.

"We are met with six, seven, eight different burglaries in one neighborhood," he said.

For the burglars, car owners are making things a lot easier.

"They will run up and down the street looking for cars. Rather than forcing entry they will just pick the ones that are open," explained Sgt. Konstantopoulous.

The problem is people aren't locking their doors.

"In just the last week throughout the city our officers have responded to 37 car burglaries and all of them have been unlocked. Since August we've seen nearly 100 and about 90 of them have been to unlocked doors," said Genevieve Judge with the Sarasota Police Department.

Law enforcement agencies across the area are finding out 50-percent of the break-ins, if not more, could have been prevented if their doors had been locked.

"In Sarasota County  between 2014 and 2015 75-percent of our reported vehicle burglaries were to unlocked vehicles. It is just a crime of opportunity," said Sheriff Lieutenant Debra Kaspar.

Manatee Deputies reported 999 vehicle burglaries just this year.

In about half those cases the cars were also left unlocked.

In St. Petersburg officers had more than 2800 vehicle burglaries -- 70-to-90-percent of those cars were left unlocked.

It is not a new trend.

For years agencies like Sarasota Police have come up with public service announcements warning people to take their valuables inside and to lock up.

So why does it keep happening?

"I think people leave their cars unlocked because they don't feel they are going to be victimized themselves," Sgt. Konstantopoulous told FOX 13.

Officers and deputies said it is a simple thing to do, but one click of the lock could save you a major headache.

"Once you become a victim of a vehicle burglary you probably won't forget to lock your car again," added Lt. Kaspar.

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