BROOKSVILLE - There has been a significant increase in reported vehicle burglaries in recent weeks, according to Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
The vehicle burglaries are being reported in various parts of the county, and are often committed out of opportunity, the sheriff's office said.
"We find that the vast majority of the vehicles that get burglarized have unlocked doors," reads a sheriff's office release. "There are several things you can do to deter a thief from targeting your vehicle."
Among the sheriff's office recommendations include always locking one's vehicle when they leave it, even if it's for a short time.
The sheriff's office also recommends not to leave valuables in a vehicle, such as iPods, cell phones, firearms, computers, purses, or even loose change.
"Removing valuables and locking your car doors should become a habit, just like fastening your seatbelt," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said. "It only takes a second and can almost always prevent you from becoming a victim of vehicle burglary."
And out of sight, out of mind: if one has a garage, they can remove a burglar's temptation to steal by keeping it there.
Installing a reliable alarm is also effective, the sheriff's office said.