Lock up: Police say thieves taking advantage of unlocked vehicles

Several vehicles were robbed of items Tuesday night in a Dalton neighborhood off Dug Gap Road, leading police to remind people to secure their vehicles before turning in for the night.

According to Lt. Ricky Long with the Dalton Police Department, reports started coming in shortly after 7 a.m. on Wednesday of several robberies on Westover Place. Long said five cars were entered and all of the cars were unlocked and there was no forced entry.

Long said there was not a complete list of items missing as reports were still being finalized Wednesday afternoon, but one handgun was reported missing.

Detective Brian Shirley said thieves, unfortunately, take advantage of those who leave their cars unlocked.

"We see that typically a lot," Shirley said. "You never want to blame the victim, but one thing you can do to protect yourself is locking the doors. In all of the cases this morning, the cars were unlocked. What you have is just people quietly going through a neighborhood and checking doorknobs. It is unfortunate."

Shirley said officers went door-to-door in the complex of condominiums and warned people to keep their cars locked, but there were no witnesses to any of the robberies.

"Hopefully, we will get some video surveillance from someone, but we haven't gotten anything yet," Shirley said. "There isn't a whole lot to go on."

Shirley said these types of robberies in neighborhoods are more common than police would like, but in most cases the cars are unlocked.

"Very rarely do you have a 'smash-and-grab' unless there is a computer or a purse in plain sight," Shirley said. "Mainly, robbers don't want to call attention to themselves, so they are just walking through pulling on handles and hoping to get lucky."

Anyone with information on the robberies or any crime tips can call (706) 278-9085.

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