PTC thieves target unlocked vehicles


Auto burglars got away with GPS units, loose change and other small electronics from parked vehicles in the Glenloch Village and eastern Lake Peachtree neighborhoods late last week, police said.

The incidents, reported on Thursday, Aug. 18 and Friday, Aug. 19, involved vehicles that had been left unlocked, a violation of one of the cardinal rules of crime prevention: don’t make oneself an easy target.

Police are asking residents to always lock their vehicles and also to remove any valuable items from them. It’s always better to park in the locked garage, but avoid parking in dark or isolated areas if possible, police advise.

Police also are investigating numerous golf cart thefts that have occurred this year, most of which were taken from the roads and paths around McIntosh High School. One cart was stolen this weekend from the Pebblepocket pool area, police said.

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for these crimes, police said.

Anyone with information about these or other incidents is asked to call police detectives at 770-631-2510 or the department’s crime and narcotics information hotline at 770-487-6010. Callers may remain anonymous.

Police also have offered other vehicle safety tips to prevent auto burglaries, including:
• ALWAYS lock your vehicle doors, even if you are parked in your driveway.
• Secure your golf cart with a steering wheel lock and/or chain.
• Never leave anything of value in plain sight (GPS units, laptops, cell phones, purses, wallets).
• Put valuables in the trunk before you park never after you park (thieves may be watching you).
• Lock truck-bed toolboxes.
• When possible, park your vehicle in your locked garage.
• If you must park on the street avoid dark or isolated areas.
• If at all possible, only carry the items you need while you are out. Leave items such as Social Security cards, extra checkbooks, extra credit cards, and extra keys at home. Once thieves have possession of these items you can continue to be victimized.
• Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the Police immediately.

If you are the victim of a vehicle break-in follow these steps:
• Step away from the vehicle and contact the police.
• Don’t touch the vehicle or anything inside the vehicle to avoid damaging possible evidence for the Police Department.
• If identifying items were stolen from your vehicle contact your bank and credit card company and advise them of the theft.
• Keep a list of important numbers to include, the numbers to your bank and credit card companies, and serial numbers to all the electronic items you own.
• Contact your cell phone provider and activate the GPS tracking device on your phone, if available. If your laptop is stolen and you have similar tracking or locating software installed, contact the necessary company to have that feature activated.