Protect yourself from car burglaries

Public Information Officer Mark Samson reported to Historic City News that the St. Augustine Police Department has responded to three auto burglaries from the Alligator Farm and three auto burglaries from the YMCA in recent days.

Samson said the department wants to be sure citizens and visitors know a few simple tips that may make them less of a target.

• Always lock your car and remove the keys.
• Lock valuables in the trunk and do not leave personal identification or credit cards.
• F.S. 316.1975 prohibits leaving your vehicle running while unattended.
• Anti-theft devices should be highly visible, hard to defeat, and immobilize the vehicle.
• Use an alarm or wheel lock device.
• Park in a garage, if possible, or choose a well-lit, heavily traveled area to park.
• Do not hide a spare key in or on your car.
• Roll your windows up completely.
• Park close to an open business.
• Keep your windows rolled and doors locked while you are driving.
• Check the inside and outside of your car before getting inside.
• Avoid parking in a remote area. Be careful in vacant lots or underground garages.
• If someone is following you do not drive home – get help at the nearest store or gas station.
• NEVER pick up a hitchhiker.
• Leave enough space between your car and the vehicle in front of you to escape if someone approaches you in a threatening manner while you are stopped at a light or stop sign.

Anyone with any information concerning these crimes or who may know the identity of those involved is asked to contact detectives with the St. Augustine Police Department at (904) 209-3482. You can remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward by calling CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-(888) 277-TIPS.

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