Officers want downtown Atlanta visitors to have 'clean' cars - FOX Carolina 21

Officers want downtown Atlanta visitors to have 'clean' cars

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ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) -

Atlanta police are trying to get the word out to visitors of downtown Atlanta that an enjoyable experience starts with having a clean car.

Don't worry. They're not demanding that you scrub it on the outside. It's the contents on the inside of your car that they want you to consider.

On Wednesday, police department officials briefed members of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District about the 2014 Clean Car Campaign Challenge. It's an effort to reduce the number of vehicle break-ins and thefts in the downtown area.

Police are urging business owners to remind their guests to keep a ‘clean' car by removing all valuables such as purses, cell phones, GPS navigation systems, laptops and tablet computers from unattended vehicles.

"People that are here for conventions, for meetings, they come down for the nightlife, and they're just simply not aware that you need to put the stuff that is of value out of plain sight," said Deputy Chief Joe Spillane of the Atlanta Police Department. "Hide it in the trunk. Take the GPS off the window."

Maj. Wayne Whitmire, commander of the Zone 5 Precinct, said that overall, auto larcenies are down from five years ago, but there was a slight uptick in 2013. Eighty percent of the victims of vehicle break-ins are people who live outside the city, state or country, he said.

"No matter how great a time they have and how great your event was, if they come outside and their window is knocked out and their laptop and the diamond ring and the $10,000 is gone that they left on the front seat, then they're going to hate Atlanta," said Whitmire.

Click here to watch a video produced by the Atlanta Police Department to raise awareness.

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