NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
August 18, 2009
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


   The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is launching a new public awareness campaign called "Lock, Take, and Hide" to encourage residents and tourists alike to remember to lock your cars, take your keys, and hide your belongings.

    Businesses can purchase signs for only $12 to put up in parking areas or other spots,  and can have their individual business logos portrayed on each sign.

    Destin Sheriff's Investigator Stefan Vaughn and Crime Prevention Specialist Ashley Bailey worked together on the campaign, based on a similar successful project in Dallas, Texas.

    Investigator Vaughn says many car break-ins are crimes of opportunity. Someone spies something inside a car such as an I-Pod, CD's or a camera and tries the door to see if it's unlocked. In 80 percent of the cases reported in Okaloosa County in 2008, it was. Nearly 38 percent of the 726 reported car burglaries last year took place in Destin.

    For information on acquiring signs or other informational materials on the "Lock, Take, Hide" campaign, contact Ashley Bailey at 651-7153.