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Florida Sheriffs Task Force announces “Operation Deadbolt”

Yulee, Fla. – The Florida Sheriffs Task Force and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office today announced “Operation Deadbolt,” which is a program designed to provide public awareness and prevention of home and automobile burglaries.  The operation will also share information and coordinate with other law enforcement agencies around the state of Florida in order to provide assistance if needed.  The campaign kicks off on June 12, 2017 and continues through August 5, 2017.

The purpose of Operation Deadbolt is to inform citizens of burglaries within our communities and encourages the sharing of information acquired by law enforcement agencies through intelligence-led policing, which analyzes police reports, citizen tips and evidence from crime scenes to initiate neighborhood alerts.

Home and automobile burglaries continue to occur throughout the state of Florida.  Many of these home burglaries occur during weekday daytime hours in rural areas where neighbors are further away.  Thieves target jewelry, firearms and other items of value they can sell or pawn quickly.  Sheriffs have noted that in some cases these individuals target large events where several vehicles will be parked for hours at a time looking for valuables inside.

Information has also been developed about groups of people who travel around the state moving in and out of areas quickly committing these offenses.  Therefore, it is critical that law enforcement agencies communicate in order to solve these crimes.  The goal is to reduce property theft through coordinated efforts of multiple surrounding law enforcement agencies.

The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to help crack down on home and vehicle burglaries – a crime of opportunity that can be stopped in a few simple steps.

  Here are a few simple suggestions that will help deter a potential thief from targeting your home:

  • Start by walking around your property looking for possible ways in which an intruder might get in. Check to make sure window latches and door locks are working properly. Keep them closed and locked at all times.
  • Keep curtains closed and blinds shut.
  • Also look for places near entry points where an intruder might hide and wait for an opportunity to enter through an open door. Ideally, doors should not have large sections of glass that could easily be broken, giving access to an interior door handle or locks.
  • Keep the exterior of your property well-lit at night. Without the cover of darkness, home invasion becomes much more risky, and less attractive, for a would-be thief.
  • Visibly post “No Trespassing” and/or “No Soliciting” signs on your property.
  • Stay in communication with your neighbors. Communication among residents provides extra security to your neighborhood. Any information you can share is crucial to law enforcement working to prevent crime in your community.

It takes less than a minute for a thief to break your vehicle window and snatch a purse or valuable electronics that are left in plain view. It takes even less time to reach into a vehicle that’s left unlocked and steal the cash in your console or other belongings.

  • The top five common sense tips to prevent vehicle burglaries are:
  • Keep windows closed and doors locked. The majority of local vehicle burglaries are to unlocked cars and the crime wouldn’t happen if the door didn’t open.
  • Hide your valuables. Stash your things out of sight, preferably in a locked trunk. Even criminals know to check the glove box, under a towel or beneath the seat.
  • If you have an SUV or another model with an open cargo area, get a retractable fitted cover to keep items hidden.
  • Stow your items before you park. Experienced thieves stake out parking lots to watch for people putting items in their trunk.
  • Trust your instincts. Avoid parking in unlit or overly concealed areas. If you see someone suspicious, tell security or contact local law enforcement.

If you see any suspicious activity please report this information to the nearest law enforcement agency so they can follow up and investigate.

“The best defense is to not have valuables in your vehicle, so plan ahead. Think about where you are going, what items you absolutely need and what you could leave at the office or at home.  Don’t make it easy for these criminals to break into your home or vehicle in order to reduce your chances of becoming a victim” said Sheriff Bill Leeper.