Press Release from WCSO:
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) has issued a Neighborhood Alert for the area of Driftwood Estates in Santa Rosa Beach. The WCSO has received numerous calls about vehicles and homes being burglarized recently. The vehicles targeted during this crime spree are unlocked and the owners have left items in plain sight within the vehicles. The homes that were targeted had “hidden keys” somewhere around the home. Items such as money, computers, phones, and guns have been stolen.
WCSO stresses owners of homes and vehicles need to hide your things, lock your car, and take your keys. Leaving items out in plain sight invites criminals to take what they can easily identify and grab quickly. Leaving your vehicle unlocked allows the criminal easy access without drawing attention by breaking windows. Taking keys from your vehicle or from around your home ensures only you have access. Burglars and thieves know the neighborhoods they terrorize. They often “case” an area ahead of time and watch those in the neighborhood. Do the people who live there carelessly leave vehicles open? Do they hide a key under a certain flowerpot? What times of the day are people most likely gone so they can commit their crimes without being spotted?
Neighbors are encouraged to look out for each other. If something or someone looks outs out of place, call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at 850-892-8111 or for emergencies call 911. Vehicle owners are asked to remove valuables, park either in a garage or in a well-lit area, and lock up. Home owners should keep valuables from plain view, if possible, by drawing curtains or blinds. Extra keys should be kept with family members or trusted neighbors and friends instead of being left out where anyone can find them.
For more information on Neighborhood Watch programs, or the Hide, Lock, Take program, contact Lt. Danny Garner at 850-892-8186 or firstname.lastname@example.org.