Is Tuscaloosa becoming less safer to live, play, and work in? Statistics released by Tuscaloosa Police this past Friday, (3/2), reveal that it very well might be.

According to Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson, Vehicle break-ins, and burglaries on the rise. Anderson said, "We had a tremendous problem with that last year, and we continue to this year."

However, the GOOD news is, there was a decrease in the amount of violent crimes according to the report.

The biggest increase in crimes was in the category of vehicle break-ins, up 35% from 2016. Anderson added that in more of 70% of those cases, the targeted vehicles had been left unlocked. Thus, making them easier for thieves to rob.

Anderson also pointed out that, “Guns stolen in auto burglaries account for the majority of illegal guns ending up on our streets and in the hands of criminals, juveniles and people suffering from mental illness." Anderson further elaborated, “It’s really adding to the problems we have with gun violence in our community,”  He also added, “We have to get a handle on this in Tuscaloosa. We’re begging the community to please be responsible, lock your vehicles and take your valuables with you."

The area with the highest number of crimes, (including vehicle break-ins, vehicle theft, burglaries, robberies, and murder), belonged to District 7, with 528 crimes reported in 2016. District 7, is the area which includes neighborhoods along James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway, (or 37th Street as it is also known), and parts of Skyland Boulevard.

So, lock up your doors, roll up your windows, be observant, and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

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