"As we prepare to get ready for the exciting time of the holiday season, so does the criminal element," says Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis.
In a rural Hinds County neighborhood that residents say is usually safe and quiet, authorities are investigating a rash of car break-ins--16 in total.
"In the investigation, it appeared that all the vehicles that we looked into left their vehicles unlocked," says Sheriff Lewis.
The break-ins happened very early Wednesday morning on Country Oaks Drive, Country Hills Drive and Springridge Road. Among the items stolen: electronics, a weapon, and credit cards. The suspects tried to use the cards, according to Sheriff Lewis. That's how they got surveillance pictures of two men and one woman, who authorities say need to be off the streets.
"We had multiple vehicles that were broken into, so it's definitely going to be a felony through auto burglary," says Sheriff Lewis.
The sheriff reminds you to lock your car and hide your valuables, whether you're at home or out shopping.
"Keep them hidden," says Frazier Ward. "I drive a pickup truck, and I keep them under the cover in the back locked and try not to leave anything where it would be noticed."
Jackson Police and Hinds County Deputies are out across the metro with their lights flashing to keep you safe.
If you can identify any of the suspects in the pictures or know anything about this crime, please contact the sheriff's department at 601.974.2900.
Tips provided by the Hinds County Sheriff Department's Crime Prevention Specialist to protect your vehicle from being broken into and having items stolen:
1. Don't leave motor vehicle registration, insurance policies, credit cards or other important papers in a vehicle's glove compartment.
2. If you have a garage, use it. Lock your garage door. Also lock your vehicle doors, even when it's in the garage.
3. Don't invite a vehicle break in by leaving packages or valuables (radar detectors, cellular phones, compact disc players, etc.) in sight. Take
valuables with you, put them under the seat or lock them in the trunk.
4. On cold mornings, never leave your motor vehicle running while it is unattended, in order to warm up.
5. Avoid transferring items to the trunk of a vehicle where it is to be parked. A thief may be watching.
6. Don't disconnect the buzzer that warns of keys left in the ignition. It's for your protection.
7. Remove valet key from owners manual
8. If vehicle has a keypad, limit access to entry code
9. If possible, avoid parking next to SUV's, pick ups, and other large vehicles in your driveway.These large vehicles can "hide" your vehicle and make it more difficult for others to observe.
10. Never hide a second set of keys in the vehicle. Extra keys can easily be found if the thief takes time to look. Store a spare key in your wallet.
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