September 17, 2021 – Port Charlotte
Recently, Charlotte County has seen a large increase in vehicle burglaries. The suspects are believed to be gang members, who are coming from out-of-county and are specifically targeting this area. The reason they are coming to Charlotte County is to take advantage of our sense of security, which we often take for granted.
When these criminals get here, they sneak onto our properties and help themselves to whatever is not secured. Video footage often shows they will check a vehicle door and if it is locked, they move on. They typically are not smashing windows or damaging property to gain access. Instead, they are seeking easy targets such as unlocked vehicles, especially those with valuables in plain sight.
During the recent crime trend, the criminals have obtained numerous firearms, which were left in the owners’ vehicles. In turn, these firearms are being used in violent crimes in other areas of the state. In several cases, the key fob was left in the vehicle, making it easy for the thief to leave with it. Once the thief takes the vehicle, it too can be used in other crimes.
The greatest way we can combat this is to simply make it a point to remove our valuables, especially firearms, and lock our doors. Establish a routine in your household that ensures your vehicle is secured every night.
Remember to report suspicious activity to our non-emergency line (941) 639-0013.