Note: 7News received video for this story from a homeowner (Lane Mattison) in the stations viewing area and the Greenville Police Department .
GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The summer months are typically when the number of car breakings increase according to Greenville Police Department, and the numbers have been on the rise.
The number of people out and about increase, and more cars are found in crowded open areas that thieves tend to target, Property Crimes Sergeant Jim Plonk noted.
Sgt. Plonk said drivers tend to learn their valuables such as wallet, purse, even their keys in their unlocked cars.
Thieves aren’t trying hard, they’re just taking advantage of drivers perceived personal convenience.
“Everybody loves their convenience, until its no longer convenient. So, when you come outside and your car’s gone because you left your car running. That’s not really convenient. When you come back outside and your purse is gone because you left it in the front seat of your car. That’s not convenient,” Sgt. Plonk said.
GPD’s data found, from the beginning of 2019, more than 90 auto thefts (not including mopeds, motorcycles, etc…)occurred in Greenville. Of those thefts, 48% were cars that were left unsecured.
Thieves walk up and pull on door handles. If the door opens, they rummage inside, attempt to start the car. If it starts, they take off.
“It happens in everybody’s neighborhood at some point. Criminals will very often target nicer neighborhoods. They don’t necessarily go to the worst neighborhoods,” Sgt. Plonk said,”They’re the ones people feel most safe in, are also the ones that are most likely going to be targeted. by criminals.”
Sgt. Plonk added, hot spots for car breakings are the parking lots of apartment complexes, work out facilities, and parks. Those areas tend to be crowded and some drivers leave their valuables or keys in the car, with the doors unlocked.
“The police can’t be everywhere at one time. So you have to do what you can to protect yourself and make it hard for the bad guys. So, lock your car, take your valuables, and take your keys with you,” Sgt. Plonk said.