Increasing vehicle thefts concern law enforcement

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Vehicles left unlocked is leading to a number of thefts in Jefferson County, according to law enforcement.

Early Friday morning Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies investigated a series of break-ins at the Riverwalk Town Homes in the Rocky Ridge area. One man, who didn't want to be identified, described what was taken.

"Apparently they were looking for money. Took the wallet. Opened the glove box. Opened the console that kind of stuff."

Investigators said most of the vehicles were already unlocked and said this is a common problem.

"That is the kind thing that can happen in any neighborhood and to any law enforcement jurisdiction and it does daily," Capt. Jim Coker of the Hoover Police Department said.

Julie Bosche of Vestavia Hills, a busy mother of two, said she can somewhat understand how some could leave their cars unlocked.

"I can understand why, especially if you have kids, trying to get them in the car," Bosche said. "You know getting them groceries in the car... the car started before everyone burns up."

But most other drivers said they don't understand why people don't lock their cars.

"I really can't understand it because insurance cost replacing everything," Joellen Karazim said. "What if they stole your car and took off? You would be without a ride."

Law enforcement say the key to protecting your car is to lock your vehicle. Also, they suggest do not leave anything of value inside or at least in sight, activate a vehicle alarm, and try to park in a lighted area.

Authorities say no one area is safe.

"I think a lot of people get complacent," Coker said. "They thing it never happened here before. It's not going to happen now. It only takes once. Now you are a victim."

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