Some alarming numbers are being released about car thefts in Meridian. Within the last 90 days, 37 of the 48 auto theft cases that have been reported to the Meridian Police Department have involved keys being left in vehicles.
"Essentially what you have is kids who are seeking an opportunity to go what we classify as 'joy riding,' says Chief James Reed. 'They walk by and see a car with keys in the ignition. Often the car is on and they jump in and take it for a spin. Now, is that right? No it's not of course, but we can help prevent that by following a few safety tips."
Chief Reed says one of the main safety tips is for the driver to remove keys from the ignition, or car in general, when he or she is not behind the wheel.
As we head into the holiday season Chief Reed says motorists should also have their keys out in plain sight when leaving stores, and try not to carry cash in a manner that makes it visible to the general public. Plus, motorists are reminded to put all valuables or purchases in the trunk or else keep them fully covered in the vehicle.
'You don't know who's watching you and a lot of things we do unconsciously, but we just need to be a little bit more cognizant of what we do,' says Reed.
With Halloween a day away, Chief Reed says preparations are being made to position officers in one of the most popular and busiest neighborhoods for trick-or-treating, Eagle Point.
'Because of the fact that it's Highway 39, there's a lot of traffic on that highway, but they will also be able to assist in other areas in the city as needed.'
If suspicious individuals or activity is observed, residents are asked to call the Meridian Police Department at (601) 485-1893.