GREENSBORO, N.C. – A road sign warning Greensboro residents and shoppers to lock their cars near West Wendover Avenue and Interstate 40 is there because of extra visitors, according to the Greensboro Police Department.
The sign went up last week and has drawn the curiosity of many people who shop in that corridor.
"I was surprised because evidently if there's a sign there, there's a greater problem than what I thought," said Linda Johnson.
Johnson's assumption is wrong though. Police said break-ins are actually down 19 percent from last year at this time.
EY Watkins, with the Greensboro Police Department, said the placement of the sign is not indicative of a problem in the shopping centers on West Wendover Ave.
"There is no area that's worse than any other, we just want to bring awareness all over," said Watkins.
Police said they've been trying to spread the word about the danger of leaving your car unlocked and your valuables in plain sight for the last year.
They only use the road signs though when there are a lot of visitors to Greensboro, like a coliseum event or the High Point Furniture Market.
"We like to have a constant reminder for people that are new in town and people that live here to always have safety at the back of their mind," said Watkins.
Car safety is in the forefront of LaKeisha Jackson's mind ever since someone broke into her car, stole mail and then stole her identity.
The thieves also totaled her car by ripping out her stereo and doing irreparable damage to the electrical wiring of the car.
Now she keeps valuables like unused credit cards in a car safe and uses other measures to keep her valuables safe.
"I make sure all my cars are tinted so people can't just walk by and see what's inside," said Jackson. "I don't keep a lot of stuff in my cars now."
Johnson goes one step further and keeps all her items in the trunk. She said she doesn't need a sign to remind her to remain vigilant when shopping.
"I'm always aware," said Johnson.