As The News reported over the weekend, trailer thefts have been a problem in the Golden Isles. Almost 50 have been reported stolen to Glynn County and Brunswick police since January 2020.

Capt. Jeremiah Berquist of the Glynn County Police Investigation Division called the thefts a crime of opportunity. That means the thieves saw an easy target and decided to take it. It is not the only crime of opportunity you will find in our area.

Look through The News’ CrimeScene section that runs three times a week, and you will find other such crimes. The most common are the thieves who take advantage of people who don’t lock their cars while leaving valuable assets inside.

It’s a lot easier to steal a wallet, a cellphone or even a gun if you leave it unlocked in a vehicle. The latter is especially dangerous as the last thing our community needs is someone who is already showing a willingness to break the law armed with the means to do more damage.

It’s important to remember how even the most basic of theft prevention strategies, like locking a car door, can have a big impact on preventing your stuff from becoming someone else’s stuff. If a criminal wants to commit a crime, at least make it somewhat difficult for them.

If they pull up on a car handle and it doesn’t immediately open, they will likely move on. If their actions cause a loud, blaring noise that attracts a lot of attention, they will likely make for a hasty getaway.

We don’t say this to admonish the victims who have had their possessions pilfered or lessen the blame on the perpetrators. Those who are caught stealing should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, whether a door is unlocked or not.

It is imperative, however, that we as citizens do what we can to help prevent crime, especially when it comes to properly securing a firearm. A locked door may not only save your stuff from being stolen, it’s also one less crime police don’t have to chase down. Take it from Capt. Berquist, who told The News “I always encourage people to do what they can to secure their property. It starts with something as simple as a lock.”

If we follow Berquist’s advice, we can reduce those crimes of opportunity.

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