Protecting your vehicle from break-ins - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Protecting your vehicle from break-ins

COLUMBUS, GA - While kids of all ages are hitting the field for football season, their parents are filling the stands leaving cars abandoned in nearby parking lot perfect prey for some Columbus thieves.  Nicole Hale says that is exactly what happened to her.

"The window was busted out.  My purse was gone with everything in it," said Hale.

Her oldest daughter is a cheerleader for a local youth team.  This mother was shocked at what she found after one practice last week.  A busted passenger window and purse gone.

"The main thing was my wallet.  It had my driver's license, my kids' social security cards in there from earlier doctor's appointments left in it and credit cards, work credit cards."

Hale says 3 other cars had also been broken into that evening.

"Several other parents walked up and said this happens every year.  It happens during football season, baseball, tee-ball season, and it has been going on for years," said Hale.

Sergeant Donald Bush with the Columbus Police Department's Crime Prevention Division says break-ins can increase during sports seasons because of the large crowds of people.  He says you have to be proactive to make sure you are not the next target.

"Remove your valuables.  What you think may not be valuable to you may be valuable to someone else.  For example, a cell phone, a little pocket of changes, a purse on or a wallet on a seat," said Bush.

Bush encourages fans to park around other cars and to take time to be aware of their surroundings, and most importantly, lock your doors.

Hale says she has learned her lesson and next time at the field, she will be on the look-out.

Columbus Police say parents or the league can call, 706-653-3300, to request an evening patrol officer to make rounds at the field, or they can call to hire an off duty officer to stay during all the games.

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