OUR OPINION: We’re not in Mayberry — lock your cars

Published 4:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

It seems as though, over the last few weeks, Vicksburg and Warren County residents have forgotten to lock their cars en masse, which naturally led to the good fortune of thieves in the area.

However, a quick scroll through The Post’s crime coverage from the last five years would show this spike in auto burglaries isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, it can more accurately be equated to a broken record.

Every year around this time, it seems, local law enforcement agencies, news outlets and even pastors in their pulpits preach the same message: Lock your car doors.

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For the longest time, automotive thefts seemed to be located only in darkened parking lots, but just last week, at least five unlocked vehicles were burglarized in the Oak Park neighborhood alone.

As much as everyone (including, presumably, the thieves) wishes Vicksburg was a place where we could leave our homes and cars unlocked at will, that’s no longer the case.

We’re not in Mayberry anymore, and Barney Fife isn’t going to walk around checking doors every evening.

Perhaps the most alarming part of this annual rash of auto burglaries is the ease with which thieves can obtain firearms. It’s statistically proven that guns stolen from unlocked vehicles are a direct contributor to violent crime.

If you choose to own a gun, keep it locked in a safe in your home or on your person at all times — it’s not worth the risk of letting yet another weapon get into the wrong hands.

Our society in Vicksburg and beyond is to the point that we need alarm systems, fortifications and security cameras to protect against theft of personal property. Consider installing some sort of surveillance system around your residence, if you feel led to do so.

No matter how many times the message is repeated, and no matter who says it, there have always been unlocked cars that are easy prey for bad people.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from loss of property and the feelings of violation that accompany being burglarized. Be vigilant, and act as the first line of defense against thieves.

Believe it or not, sometimes things are as simple as locking your car doors.