LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Car break-ins are on a rise in LaGrange, up 31% since 2020, and police are urging the public to lock their cars. Police said about 95 percent of all break-ins happen to cars left unlocked.
“The rise in cars being broken into is mainly due to people leaving their cars unlocked, creating an easy target for people to walk through parking lots, wherever there’s a lot of cars congregated, pull on handles until you find an unlocked car,” said Mark Cavender, Sergeant of the Criminal Investigations Section of the LaGrange Police Department.
Cavender said apartment complexes and grocery stores like Walmart are often targeted due to the amount of cars. Thieves often go for guns, iPads and phones. Those items are left in plain sight and taken if the door handle is left unlocked. Cavender also said that more than 90 percent of the break-ins happen without windows getting broken.
The police department urges people to report a break-in as soon as they realize a crime has happened. Waiting to report a crime can result in a loss of evidence.
Apartment complexes around the city are warning citizens to lock their cars to avoid a break-in. The Yard on Mill apartment complex has taken security measures to help prevent crimes. One of these includes having a courtesy officer living on site.
“Protocols that we like to have residents follow is if you do experience a car break-in, contact 911 and fill out a report. On our end, we just ask for increased surveillance and we do have an onsite courtesy officer who does patrols as well,” said Shamar Slappy, leasing manager at The Yard on Mill Apartments.
Slappy said he was made aware of a break-in in the community but the victim had left the car door unlocked.