MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – It's back to school shopping season and college students are gearing up for the school year. A popular time for car thieves to wait and watch to break-in and steal valuables.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office and the Macon Police Department want you to make sure you're keeping valuables protected.
In the first two weeks of July, there were more than 21 cases of entering autos in Bibb County.
Lt. Sean Defoe says suspects look for the easiest way in.
"They're going to do what they can to get a quick steal, get something quickly without being noticed," Defoe said. "Suspects are opportunists, they walk through neighborhoods parking lots of different department stores. They like to check unlocked cars."
If doors are locked, officers say next, culprits go for valuables in plain sight.
Sergeant Matt Kaase with the Macon Police Department says sometimes people can get complacent.
"A lot of people think I'm in my house I'm safe in my house and they tend to forget to lock their doors," Kaase said.
Statistics show this time last year, there were 491 car break-ins in the city. This year, there has been 407.
Kaase says with the community's help, more thieves can be caught red-handed.
"A lot of the time we depend on the community to let us know and say hey I've seen this guy, he's looking in the windows and he's on the street late at night," Kaase said.