OCOEE, Fla. – Last weekend, Ocoee Police responded to three different car burglaries where the perpetrator stole a gun from the car.
In almost all of those instances, officers say the cars were unlocked.
Ed Humphreys lives near where the most recent car burglaries took place. He is also a firearms instructor.
"Leaving a firearm inside, not in a locked container of some kind, that's really irresponsible and absurd," he said. "We have a constitutional right to firearms, but the responsibility for owning them is so great. You can't just leave them out where other people are going to steal them and do harm to other people with them. It's not just right."
Officers say that brings the total for the city in 2018 to 15 guns stolen from cars.
"The latest crime trend is what we call door jigglers," Ocoee Deputy Police Chief Stephen McCosker said. "Leaving your car unlocked, it's really just creating an opportunity for them to be victimized and unfortunately, someone else will be victimized as well."
The problem, McCosker explained, is easily preventable.
"What we're finding is that 80 percent of our car burglaries are unlocked vehicles," he said. "If you eliminate that number, it would greatly reduce crime in our area."
It cannot be overstated that this issue is a priority for Ocoee police.
Since the beginning of the year, the department has posted on Facebook 59 times a plea for drivers to lock their cars and bring their valuables inside.
Anyone with information about these car burglaries is asked to call Ocoee Police at (407) 905-3160.