Collier County deputies go door to door to help prevent car thefts

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: Mike / Pexels

Collier County deputies hit the streets Wednesday to encourage people to lock their vehicle doors to prevent thefts, which oftentimes rise while northerners are in town.

Many newer cars have push-starts, where your key doesn’t need to be in the ignition in order to start it. This technology makes it easier for criminals to drive away with your car, and the sheriff’s office wants to get ahead of the problem.

As part of the county’s Community Safe Initiative, deputies went door to door Wednesday in Naples Park, where people like Sue Cohen have seen crime close by.

“They were going up and down streets trying to take cars,” she said.

And for Don Toplovich, too close.

“Yeah, I’ve had a bike stolen out of my garage while I was home,” he said. “It was a taxi bike, pretty expensive bike, never got it back.”

Toplovich said he has noticed more riff-raff in his neighborhood this year.

“There’s a lot of speeders, a lot more noise, there’s a lot of rental houses here so they have partying going on at night and stuff like that.”

With so many rental homes and more people here for season, Lt. Tom Orr and his fellow deputies expect an uptick in thefts.

“It is season, so it’s really busy here. This is one area where it’s not slowed down,” Orr said.

And one crime has been ramping up.

“Nationwide, we’ve seen an increase in auto thefts, just because of people leaving the keyfobs.”

They want neighbors to remember “to make sure you hide your valuables, lock your valuables and take your key fobs out,” Orr said.

“I think it’s huge. It means they really care. So I mean as a taxpayer, I like to see that,” Toplovich said.

Many dealers like Mercedes Benz and Ferrari don’t even sell anything other than push-starts now, making it even more important to remember to bring your key and your valuables in with you.

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