By Sheriff Carmine Marceno
Within the confines of our more densely populated areas in our East District, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office has been responding to calls for service involving vehicular break-ins…primarily to unlocked vehicles.
Despite pleas and requests for residents to lock their cars and trucks…to remove valuables including firearms…we continue to receive reports of burglarized vehicles and stolen property.
Be mindful that any given street in the more populous sections may contain seven to ten homes on each side of the roadway…approximately 20 houses total. Most homes have two vehicles, at the very least, parked in the driveway. During a span of less than five minutes, a criminal walking quickly into each darkened driveway, tugging on door handles on both sides of the street, can check 40 or more vehicles for accessibility.
Five minutes…40 vehicles. Many will be locked and secured. Some, however, will not. Those vehicles that ARE unlocked WILL be entered, ransacked and all valuables will be removed. No one will likely hear. No one will likely see.
Along with the morning light comes the realization that you have been victimized. It’s an unsettling feeling knowing that an intruder entered your car or truck overnight. The contents of your glove box are scattered on your seats and on the floor. Your center console has been ripped from its hinges and the contents removed. The firearm that you cleverly hid beneath the seat is now in the hands of a criminal.
Upon discovering that your personal and potentially valuable belongings are missing, a sense of loss and violation overtake you. The realization that your stolen firearm may be used in the commission of a crime or to seriously injure someone now weighs on your conscience.
Lastly, and most agonizing of all, you conclude that this entire incident could have been avoided with the click of a remote.