Some Gulfport residents continue to leave their cars and other motor vehicles unlocked — sometimes with the keys inside them.
That’s making life easier for car thieves and burglaries — and busier for police.
Two cars were recently stolen in Gulfport along with burglaries from vehicles, according to the Gulfport Police Department. That includes a BMW, which was left unlocked and with the keys inside, according to the Gulfport Police Department.
Gulfport has had 33 motor vehicles stolen so far in 2023, with another 10 attempt car thefts, according to GPD Sergeant Thomas Woodman.
Police have recovered 16 of those stolen cars, he said.
GPD also reports 46 burglaries from cars, trucks, and other vehicles, with another six attempted vehicle burglaries.
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A 2020 Nissan Altima was stolen during the early morning hours of Nov. 11 near 9th Avenue South and 51st Street South.
Police said keys from the car had been stolen earlier the same week in a burglary.
Two days later, on Nov. 13, a woman called police and “said that she woke up to the sound of her vehicle in the front driveway being started,” GPD said in an announcement.
That vehicle is a 2008 BMW X5, Woodman told The Gabber Newspaper.
“When the victim looked outside she saw her vehicle being driven off. The victim left her vehicle unsecured with her key also inside the vehicle,” GPD said.
The following day, Nov. 14, a Chevrolet pickup truck was burglarized overnight near 19th Avenue South and 59th Street South. Police said the caller said “nothing of value was taken” and he did not wish to pursue any charges.
Another pickup truck — an unlocked Ford — was burglarized Nov. 15. A bag was stolen. Police processed the truck for fingerprints but did not find any, according to GPD.
Woodman said it does not appear the recent string of burglaries and thefts are connected — but they are still being investigated.
“Many different juveniles and groups break into and steal vehicles (mostly unlocked with keys inside). Until the investigations are completed, I cannot definitively say,” he said.
No arrests have been made in the cases.