Gregg County officials are asking residents to remove valuables from their vehicles and make sure they are locked after an increase in burglaries in the county.

Pct. 1 Constable Mike Grisham said law enforcement has noted an increase in vehicle burglary reports in the northern part of his precinct.

“Almost 100% of the vehicles were unlocked,” Grisham said Tuesday. “Any valuables, including firearms, need to be removed at night. I hate that people are losing property, and we certainly don’t want to put more firearms out on the street.

“In the county, sometimes we think we don’t have to lock (our vehicles),” he added. “You really have to get out of that mentality.”

Grisham said the vehicles are targeted by checking doors.

“It does appear that people are just walking the neighborhoods and checking for opportunities,” he said. “(If the vehicle is) not unlocked, they might move on. They’re not knocking windows out.”

Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity, tips and crimes in progress to law enforcement.

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