EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Emerald Isle residents see their town as safe, but a recent wave of car break-ins has left them uneasy.
Sixteen cars have been broken into so far this year.
Residents, like Michael Duffy, said they’re shocked this is happening in their community.
“It’s a cul-de-sac here,” said Duffy “and you don’t think anyone’s gonna come down here or you don’t think you’d miss them. But I guess you do.”
Emerald Isle Police Chief Tony Reese said you can never be too careful.
“We are a very small community,” said Reese. “And we’re a very safe community. But criminals take vacations too.”
He cautions drivers to never leave valuables in sight, never leave a firearm in the car, and most importantly to always lock their car doors.
“Very rarely do people ever break into a car,” said Reese. “Most cars that are burglarized are done so because they’re unlocked. So if people will simply lock the doors to their vehicle, that will prevent a lot of the crimes that we see.”
Chief Reese said the police department has caught some of the car burglars but others may still be out there.
“These are crimes of opportunity,” said Reese. “If they can go into a vehicle and find something of value, they feel like they can get money for it and they’re going to take it.”
If you see anything suspicious you’re encouraged to reach out to the Emerald Isle Police Department so they can help to keep the community safe.
Chief Reese said most of the burglars they’ve caught for these break ins have been young adults who go from car to car just looking for one that’s unlocked.