Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre is warning vehicle owners to lock their unattended automobiles – especially overnight.

Webre sent out a news release this week detailing things that vehicle owners should consider in lieu of several cases of break-ins over the past few months.

Webre said that it's also important to remember to safely store handguns and other valuable items in your home and not in an empty automobile.

"Nearly every vehicle burglary over the past few years has occurred due to vehicles being left unlocked," Webre said. "Criminals are looking for easy targers and often attempt to burglarize many vehicles in one outing. It is extremely rare for a burglar to break a window or pry a door open to enter a vehicle unless they can clearly see something of value inside. By removing valuables and locking your vehicle, you dramatically decrease the chances your vehicle will be burglarized or stolen." 

Webre said the best way to ensure vehicles remain safe is to double check doors to ensure that automatic locks are working properly. 

The sheriff said it's also wise to check and make sure that all windows are fully rolled up. Webre said it's also best to never leave a car unattended while the engine is running, adding that the best prevention is enhanced security and that lighting and cameras on one's property will likely deter criminals, but also will make it easier to identify them should a situation arise.

"Be smart about crime prevention," Webre said. 

LPSO will continue to promote the "9 p.m. Routine" through all of its social media outlets.

The "9 p.m. Routine" began at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida in 2016. 

It encourages all citizens to set an alarm for themselves to remind them to remove valuables from their cars at or before 9 p.m. every day. When doing so, it's also a reminder to lock their car and/or home each night before bed. 

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