Deputy hopes to stop burglaries -- checking 1 car door at a time

Broward County deputy working to educate drivers about locking up

COOPER CITY, Fla. – In the cover of darkness, a man is seen on a resident's Ring security camera creeping around with a flashlight and checking car doors. But a closer look shows the man is wearing a uniform. 

It turns out the man seen on video isn't a crook or an impersonator. He's Broward County Deputy George Wentland.

Local 10 News reporter Janine Stanwood rode along with Wentland in Cooper City, where the Broward Sheriff's Office is cracking down on car burglaries.

Checking car doors after dark is part of his modus operandi.

"We've had issues here in the past," Wentland said.

He often finds cars unlocked, making them easy pickings for thieves. 

"You leave your car unlocked, the likelihood of car burglary very good," Wentland said. "Eighty percent of our burglaries are caused by people not locking their doors in their cars. So it's not people smashing though a window. It's a crime of opportunity."

It's easy to have a false sense of security.

Kahlia Johnson lives in Cooper City has been the victim of a car burglary in the past, but Tuesday night she let her guard down and forgot to lock her car door.

Luckily for her, Wentland was out checking. 

"I thought I locked it. I just got out of my vehicle. I should have known better," Johnson said. "We only call y'all when we need you and you're preventing the phone call this time. Ha ha, you did a house call."

Wentland added: "This is my community and I want it to be safe. And I don't want people's cars broken into."

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