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Cop makes car mobile warning: 'Don't keep valuables in sight'

Alpharetta Police Officer Terry Joyner has turned his police car into a mobile billboard warning people about leaving their valuables inside their vehicles. JONATHAN COPSEY. (click for larger version)
December 20, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The newest look on one of Alpharetta's police cars is a large image of a safe on the rear doors. This is all part of Officer Terry Joyner's public outreach program to remind the public that vehicles are not safe to keep valuables inside.

"Your vehicle is not a safe, so remove your valuables," Joyner said. "What we wanted to do was get the message out. A safe is an important eye-catcher and gets attention."

Joyner created his awareness program in the summer. Especially in the mall and around the greenway, common calls to 911 are about car break-ins. People leave their valuables – wallets, purses, gym bags, phones and computers – in plain sight within their cars while they are away from it. Too often, criminals use this chance to smash a window and punch a lock and grab the items. All it takes is a second for the crime to be committed.

So Joyner created the phrase, "your vehicle is not a safe."

"We have so many citizens coming in saying they thought it was safe in their vehicles," he said.

He started out with small magnetized decals on his cruiser doors and, in an effort to increase his visibility, opted for the large paint job. Atlanta Creative Graphics created the new image on his car for less than $500. They do a lot of work with the police department, Joyner said.

"We're still getting the message out," he said. "But it's worked."

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