Watch: Thousands of vehicle thefts and break-ins in Memphis prompts police PSA

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.- Memphis police are asking citizens to take safety into their own hands following a rash of car-break-ins and car thefts in the city.

In a PSA released Thursday, MPD said in 2020 there were 4,366 vehicle thefts, 6,554 thefts from vehicles, and 1,324 guns taken from vehicles.

MPD said the best way to prevent yourself from becoming a target is to be aware of your surroundings, lock your doors when you leave your vehicle, don’t leave valuables in your vehicle, and if you must carry a firearm in your car secure it with an in-car safe or with a gunlock.

You can get a free gunlock from any local precinct.

Police also say never leave your car running, and say if you are approached by someone trying to take your vehicle by force, do not resist.

“The carjacker, yes, if they are armed and they demand your car you give them the car. You give them your property. If you don’t resist them the likelihood is they will take your property and leave you alone,” said Col. Darrell Sheffield. “You can replace property … you cannot replace a life.”

Early Thursday morning, several cars were broken into at the UPS lot at the Memphis International Airport.

Airport officials could not tell WREG-TV how many vehicles were hit or what was taken but at least one employee said it was not the first time they have been targeted by thieves.

The UPS employee, who did not want to be identified, said he is tired of the crime.

“We are We are at work 4 o’clock in the morning and people are breaking into our cars . It’s sad.”

Airport police are now investigating the break-ins.

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