Law enforcement officials say thefts from cars are on the rise again.
Such criminal activity generally is cyclical, says Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris. Typically there's a rash of thefts, followed by a lull when some of the thieves are caught.
What emboldens the rise, in part, is irresponsibility of the owners of those vehicles - most of which are unlocked when opportunistic, door-handle-shaking thieves pass by.
Motorists hear the warnings and lock their doors, so the thefts fall. Then they forget, and the thefts rise.
So, here's that broken-record warning again: Lock your car. Even then, don't leave valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain sight; some of the recent thefts were actual break-ins, with thieves smashing glass after window-shopping for items just sitting out in the open.
Also, keep in mind: An empty bag sitting in a car could be just as attractive as a full one to a thief, who might very well smash out your window just to find out if there's anything valuable inside.
But unlocked cars are the worst, and the cops have to spend far too much time investigating cases that might not have happened if the owner had been a little more responsible.
So: Lock your doors. And this time, don't forget.
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