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Montgomery County sheriff warns of criminals targeting tourists

While theft can happen anywhere, it is something to be especially aware of before going on vacation says Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham.
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 6:35 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you are parked in the wrong place at the wrong time, your car could be targeted by criminals.

“It definitely feels like an invasion of privacy just to know that, even if you have nothing to hide, that something has been, like, gone through,” said Josh Marvin, a Troy resident who has had his car broken into.

Thieves could dig through your glove box and make off with your property. While theft can happen anywhere, it is something to be especially aware of before going on vacation.

Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham explained criminals often go after tourists. Travelers stopping at gas stations should also stay alert.

“We have seen more and more people that pull up at these stores and want to run in right quick, leave their keys in the car, leave their cars unlocked with their luggage, and people can tell when you’re traveling just by looking at your plates,” Cunningham said.

License plates are an easy indicator that you are not from the area.

Law enforcement urges everyone to lock their doors. If you are at a gas pump and are approached by someone suspicious, makes sure the car is locked and then walk off.

“People will come up to you and start talking to you at a gas pump, hoping that they can start a conversation,” Cunningham said. “Then once you get to a point of being so comfortable with that person, that’s when that person will produce a weapon.”

The sheriff adds you should not strike up conversations with strangers. You should also avoid looking down to text on your phone.

“Don’t do it when your mind is not on your surrounding, especially if you’re in a strange location,” he said.

If you ever feel threatened by a suspicious person, call 9-1-1.

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