Deputies remind people to lock their cars after a string of burglaries

An unlocked car makes valuables easy to steal. (Credit: WINK News)
An unlocked car makes valuables easy to steal. (Credit: WINK News)

Do not make it easy for thieves – lock your car and protect your valuables!

It sounds like common sense, but on Thursday Collier County deputies showed how many people forget those two things.

Deputies reminded people to give safety and security an extra thought. By leaving nothing of value in your cars, removing that opportunity from people looking to steal, deputies came to a plaza on 41 and Vanderbilt Beach Rd. because of how busy it is and since there have been burglaries in the nearby lot.

At that lot, a jeep sits without any windows and a phone in plain sight. A purse sits in the passenger seat while its owner is not around. Both are a set up for quick pickings as deputies comb through the lot finding the owners to the valuables. The deputies remind them to leave nothing in sight.

Freddy Handilah and his brother, Daniel, already do their part to avoid becoming a victim. As they have heard many burglary horror stories.

“Every time we get out of our cars, we make sure we take our wallets into the gym,” Handilah said. “We lock it up. We just never know what’s going to happen.”

But, then there are those like Ian Elliot, who said for years he has been leaving his wallet, phone and other valuables in his car. He has gotten lucky since he has not been a victim of a break-in.

Deputies warned him to change his ways before Elliot’s luck runs out.

“I just wouldn’t expect it here in Naples with just the way people are around here,” Elliot said. “It is a bad habit that I have now that I have been hearing this I definitely need to change that.”

The sheriff’s office worked with businesses in the area to help spread the word. Miguel Ramos, general manager at LA Fitness, said he has dealt with customers who have had their cars broken into.

“It might seem redundant,” Ramos said. “It might be common sense or obvious to say, ‘hey, lock your doors.’ But it’s always good whenever you have that reminder.”

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