The Columbia Police Department (CPD) released a report indicating that thefts from cars increased by 25% in Columbia over the 2020 calendar year. Theft from cars, also known as car hopping, is a criminal offense common among drug addicts and teenagers. Thieves often favor wealthy neighborhoods, searching for unlocked vehicles and easy grabs. One of the most common ways for a gun to become stolen is for it to be taken out of a vehicle. With this in mind, CPD has recommended taking these three steps to avoid having your items stolen from your car:
- Hide the valuables in your car or take them out completely;
- Lock doors whenever you leave your vehicle; and
- Park in a well-lit area at night, if possible.
Theft from cars has been reported on MU Campus, East Campus, Rock Quarry Village, Bristol Lake Subdivision, and the Grasslands neighborhood. Police often have trouble investigating these crimes due to a lack of evidence. If you have been victimized by a thief stealing from your car, contact law enforcement as soon as possible. If you have been the target of theft more than once or notice a pattern of theft around your neighborhood, consider purchasing a home security system with cameras—this will help law enforcement investigate crimes.
What to Do If You Are Accused of Theft
If you or someone you know is facing charges related to car hopping or theft, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Theft is a very serious crime, and you do not want to face these charges alone. With theft on the rise by 25% in Columbia, you cannot expect a prosecutor or judge to take these charges lightly. A legal professional can have well-established lines of communication with prosecutors and judges, which can lead to a more favorable outcome in your case. Contact a lawyer willing to fight for your rights today.