SARASOTA, Fla. – The Sarasota Police Department is seeing an increase in vehicle burglaries, particularly near Golden Gate Point. With the holidays approaching, the Sarasota Police Department wants to remind visitors and residents to remove valuables and firearms and lock their vehicles.
Sarasota Police Department detectives are investigating 10 vehicle burglaries reported on October 17, 2020 on Golden Gate Point. None of the vehicles were locked. Today, Friday, November 6, 2020, officers took reports of a stolen vehicle that was unlocked, with a spare key was left inside, in addition to two more vehicle burglaries to unlocked vehicles. Loose change, cash, phone cords and gas credit cards were stolen.
Since January 1, 2020, there have been 286 reports of vehicle burglaries in the city of Sarasota. 85% of those (244 vehicles) vehicle burglaries happened where vehicles were left unlocked. 15 firearms have also been taken from vehicles that were left unlocked this year. With the holidays approaching, the Sarasota Police Department wants to help protect you, your families, your vehicles, and your valuables:
- Roll up your windows, lock your vehicles, remove valuables and firearms and take the keys. If you leave your vehicle unlocked, even in your driveway while running into your home for a few minutes, it is an open invitation to criminals. Never leave your keys in the ignition and never leave an extra “hidden” key in your vehicle.
- If you are going to hide valuables and not take them with you, do it before your park your vehicle. That way, criminals who may be watching nearby, are not watching you hide your valuables. Do not verbalize your intent to place valuables in your trunk.
- Sarasota Police Department investigations have shown victims of unlocked vehicle burglaries have left purses, firearms, wallets, and other valuables in plain sight for criminals to steal. If a criminal does not see anything, they’re less likely to break in.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Look for suspicious people. Report it to law enforcement immediately.
- Record serial numbers of valuables and property. If the items in your vehicle are ever stolen, it can help identify a suspect if they decide to pawn your property.
- Do not park in secluded areas. Make sure to park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Always remember, if you see something suspicious, say something. Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.
Anyone with information on these cases is asked to call the Sarasota Police Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com