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Recently, the St. Petersburg Times printed a quote from Kevin R. Mapes, a crook who was arrested in Tampa for stealing a purse and loose change from a car.  “If someone is stupid enough to leave their car unlocked,” Mapes said, “it’s OK to take their stuff.”  Unfortunately, the “burglars of the world” obviously all feel this way.  So you can see the importance of taking simple steps to protect yourself.

Did you know the simple act of locking your car doors – something that takes less than 3 seconds – can prevent crime?  The number one crime we have in our otherwise safe community is burglary – incidents in which items are stolen from unlocked cars, open garages, unsecured homes and yards or other places in plain sight.  As a citizen of Citrus County, you can partner with us to reduce crime and your risk of becoming a victim.

How?  It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
  1. Lock up.  Lock your car doors and keep them locked at all times – even when your car is sitting in the driveway.  Lock your home and keep your garage doors shut.


  2. Secure it.  Hide items left in your car – or better yet, keep those items in your trunk.  Don’t leave valuables, such as bikes or golf clubs, in plain view.  Keep household valuables in a safe place.


  3. Be a good neighbor.  Watch out for others and share these simple steps with them.  Let your neighbors know if they’ve left something valuable outside or if they’ve accidentally left their garage door open.

In order to get the message out to the community on the importance of locking out crime, my staff has recently kicked off a Lock Out Crime campaign.  You may see our Lock Out Crime messages on billboards, in newspaper ads, even on door hangers left in your neighborhood.  Please partner with us in Locking Out Crime in Citrus County.

Take a moment to view some of our crime prevention tips by watching the short video clips we’ve posted here

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call the Sheriff’s Office at 726-4488 and ask for crime prevention.