Leaving vehicles unlocked and unattended is risky, especially during the holiday shopping season.
Just this year, the Winchester Police Department has responded to almost 100 calls regarding thefts from motor vehicles.
“People often times get comfortable and don’t lock their cars while they’re parked at their homes, because they feel safe and secure at home. And other times they’re in a hurry and forget to hit that lock button.” Lt. Amanda Behan said.
The department is trying to do something about the problem.
“Our campaign is ‘combat the cat’, and it’s ‘lock it tight or risk the swipe.'” she said
With Black Friday being just two days away, Behan says the “combat the cat” campaign is kicking off at the perfect time.
Officers have been placing signs reminding shoppers to lock their doors in some of the busiest shopping malls in Winchester. They say they hope the little reminder makes a big impact because once items are taken, there’s usually very little that can be done.
“When we go to investigate them, they are very, very difficult to solve, we rely on security cameras, because there’s not going to be a lot of physical evidence left behind when somebody’s vehicles left unlocked.” Behan said.
Behan says she’s excited to see what effect the campaign has on the number of vehicle thefts in the city, even past the holiday season.
“We’re looking at putting the signs up for a two week period now and we will take them down move them to different locations, but this is a campaign that we’re dedicated to doing all year long,” Behan said.
The Winchester Police Department will soon be placing the signs in residential areas as well.