Hub City sees rise in auto crimes

Hub City sees rise in auto crimes
Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In the last month, and the first two days in November, 18 vehicles have been reported stolen, and more than four dozen vehicles have been burglarized.

Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said almost all of the crimes have a common factor.

"Just this week, since Monday we've had 10 or 11 reports of auto burglaries around the police department, downtown, your residential areas," Traxler said. "Every one of them that was reported the vehicles were left unlocked."

WDAM 7 News hit the streets to ask people if they lock their car doors.

We asked five people if they lock their doors, and some of the answers were a little shocking.

Subject 1- Yes, but not all the time… Because I feel like I don't have to all the time, I feel OK.

Subject 2- Yes, all the time.

Subject 3- Yes, all the time, I never even forget to.

Subject 4- No, well matter of fact, I just throw the keys in the floor board, like right now, they are in my truck.

Subject 5- It varies, I don't keep anything valuable in there, and I would rather them use the door than break my window.

Of the 18 vehicles reported stolen, almost all were left unlocked and were left running or the keys were left inside, according to Traxler.

The last time more than a dozen stolen vehicles were reported in one month was in August 2013, and 13 were stolen.

Traxler added the items that have been stolen vary from weapons to electronics.

"It's been nothing specific that's been getting stolen, purses, wallets, change, some of the vehicles are just ransacked but you know somebody's been in there," Traxler said.

Police officials stress to not be an easy target.

"The other thing, lock your doors, we ask that you please lock your doors even if it's parked in your driveway, just lock your doors," Traxler said. "Don't leave their stuff out visible, where it can be seen by whoever just walks by their vehicle."

Traxler said they also can use any help from anyone in the community as well.

"We want to remind our public that we can't be everywhere, we try to do the best we can, being in the neighborhoods and all, but we need their help as well," he said.

If you have any information about any of the crimes, you can contact Hattiesburg Police or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP.