For Immediate Release
PR #:2000042
Date Issued:Apr 14, 2020 - 12:00pm

Alarming spike in vehicle burglaries a reminder to lock doors

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam reported today that his office is responding to an alarming increase in vehicle burglary calls, most of these cases involve unlocked cars.

“We’re investigating anywhere from two to three times the number of vehicle burglaries than we typically have this time of year, possibly because so many people are not working or are home from school due to COVID-19,” Sheriff Balaam said. “The public can help us fight this crime by locking their vehicle doors and taking valuables with them when they leave their cars.”

Typically, vehicle burglars will walk along residential streets, trying to find unlocked car doors, easy opportunities for rummaging and theft.

“Residents can reduce the crime, by locking doors and taking away the opportunity,” Sheriff Balaam said. The Sheriff reminds residents of the following vehicle burglary prevention tips:

  • Lock your doors! One of the most common issues with vehicle burglaries is unlocked doors;
  • Don’t leave valuables in the car. Take everything of value with you. If you must leave valuables in the vehicle, be sure to secure them out of sight in the trunk or glove compartment not under jackets or blankets behind the seat, as that is one of the first places criminals look;
  • Set the car alarm or anti-theft devices. These are still effective deterrents against criminals who are looking for the easiest target; and
  • Keep windows completely closed. Partially open windows may make your vehicle an easier target for thieves.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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