Police urge residents to lock unoccupied vehicles, remove firearms & stay with your vehicle while defrosting windows

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 11:59am

The Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) regularly implores residents to help reduce motor vehicle break-ins by locking their car doors. A vast majority of the reported car break-ins in Wake Forest involve unlocked vehicles.

Those pleas are taking on an even greater sense of urgency after another rash of break-ins involving unlocked vehicles. Once again, thieves engaged in what is known as “car-hopping” in several Wake Forest subdivisions. Car-hopping occurs when criminals roam neighborhoods at night, pulling on car door handles, hoping to find an open vehicle. Police officials say it’s a numbers game. For every 10 cars a criminal checks, they expect to find at least a couple open, so there is no need to physically break a window or door lock to get in.

Simply put, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is by simply locking your unoccupied vehicles at all times, removing your valuable items and any extra set of keys from the vehicle, and double-checking to make sure your car is locked before going to bed at night. If an item can’t be removed, then it’s best to make sure it is out of sight to potential crooks looking for an easy target.

It is especially important to remove firearms from unlocked vehicles. According to a study by the US Department of Justice, approximately four out of five firearms stolen during car break-ins are never recovered. In many cases, these firearms are used in the commission of other crimes.

Finally, officials are warning the community that there are people out there willing to steal your car. As we return to the season of frost and snow, remember to stay with your vehicle while defrosting the windows. Remove your keys from the vehicle and lock the doors to avoid having your car stolen.

Making sure Wake Forest is a safe place to live and work requires the cooperation of the Police Department and the town’s residents. To report suspicious behavior or activity, call 919-554-6150 or 919-556-9111.