Prince George's Co. police remind drivers to not leave valuables - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Prince George's Co. police remind drivers to not leave valuables in plain view

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -

Gone in 20 seconds. Prince George's County police say that is all it takes for a thief to get in your vehicle and grab your stuff. And it appears many of you are making it easy for them.

Police say you need to hide it, lock it, keep it. It sounds like easy instructions, but not everyone is following that common sense rule that can lose you a lot of cash.

On Tuesday, cops all over this strip mall in Prince George’s County are going from vehicle to vehicle and person to person. But they are not investigating a crime. They are trying to prevent one.

They are one of many cop teams – community-oriented policing specialists in the county -- educating you on how to keep your stuff.

“What we have here is a laptop bag,” said Maj. Irene Burks of the Prince George’s County Police Department. “And it only takes seconds for a person to break into a vehicle because it’s always unlocked.”

Maj. Burks says car break-ins remain a pain. Although thefts have gone down seven percent from last year, the reports are far from stopping.

What is fueling it? Police say it is us. It seems we are helping the bad guys get what they need to sell.

“People leaving bags, phones, change, money, wallet, laptops, iPads, iPods, sneakers, you name it,” said Maj. Burks.

Each district in the county has these cop units pushing the hide it, lock it, keep it campaign. It is something you may hear on the news during the holidays, but this is always a year-round effort.

Some people are listening, but agree it is tough to always remember to lock it up and put it away.

“I think I only did it one,” said Demetrius Davis. “I actually left my cell phone.”

Police say shopping centers are not the only place we are making this mistake. Everywhere from gas stations to your own home, neighbors are giving thieves the green light to all your things.

“I am seeing reports every day from thefts from auto,” said Maj. Burks.

Police are hoping their advice is something you will keep in mind so you are not the next person to call 911 saying you have been robbed.


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