Auto burglaries increase in Hattiesburg and Lamar County

Auto burglaries increase in Hattiesburg and Lamar County
Source: WDAM

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Auto burglaries are up in the city of Hattiesburg and some areas of Lamar County.

The Hattiesburg Police Department and Lamar County Sheriff's Department are reminding people to be sure to lock their car doors.

 “We are cautioning everybody to lock your vehicles, a lot of times these are crimes of chance, they go around if the vehicle is locked they go to the next one until they find a car that is unlocked, some of them they are just getting change, but some of them, hardly anything is missing at all, they just riffle through, there just looking,” said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.

The Lamar County Sheriff's Department has seen 16 auto burglaries since Tuesday Sept. 22, in the West Lake Manor and Hillcrest Drive area of the county. One of those vehicles had three guns stolen from it according to Rigel.

"This is very abnormal for us in the county, we normally do not see this high of a number any time of the year," said Rigel.

The Hattiesburg Police Department has had 20 auto burglaries reported since Sept. 17th, in multiple areas across the city. Of those vehicles, none of them were "forced entry" according to Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler. Of those vehicles, six weapons, including shotguns and handguns were stolen.

“If we even have one gun stolen we take that as a serious issue, as we do with all auto burglaries as well, but anytime a weapon does make it on the street it becomes something that is dangerous not just for us but for our general public and that is why we want to emphasize, don’t leave your weapons in your vehicles take them inside as well, again lock your vehicle,” said Traxler.

Traxler urges people to not leave valuables in your cars, and if you do to lock the doors or even attempt to hide it.

Authorities urge anyone with any information to contact Hattiesburg Police, the sheriff's department or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP.