GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek Police are leaving notes in people's unlocked cars and some people aren't too happy about it.
The holiday season means it's also shopping season. Parking lots reaching capacity and shopping bags filling cars.
"It's very, very busy this time of year, we have multiple shopping centers in addition to the Walmart, and so the police officers that are in those beats will spend an amount of time in those parking lots," Goose Creek's Assistant Police Chief John Grainger said.
Grainger said that's the reason some people have found notices from police inside their unlocked cars recently.
"This is a crime prevention notice. All of our police officers carry them, and it basically is just, very clearly in red, it says it's a notice. It's not an order to appear in court, there's no fines, it's not like a traffic ticket," Grainger said.
Grainger says the Goose Creek police officers have been handing these out for years. If an officer sees an unlocked car, or a car with its windows down, they will sometimes leave warning notes inside to alert people to the danger of having things stolen.
As of Nov. 30, the department has issued more than 1,100 notices this year.
"The goal is to deter theft and also, through this process, let our visitors and residents know that, 'Hey, you could have been the victim of a crime, take care of your stuff," Grainger said.
But some people who live in Goose Creek says they feel like that's a violation of their privacy.
"I don't think they should be able to open my car regardless if it's unlocked or not, even if it's in a parking lot or it could even be in my driveway," Kayla Gladstone said.
But others support the police department's efforts.
"It's just a precaution. It's the police looking out for you and trying to take care of the people in Goose Creek," Hailey Hixson said.
Grainger says of the thousands of notices the department has issued, they rarely receive a complaint.
"The overwhelming response for us is that the folks in Goose Creek appreciate us watching them at their homes and their cars for theft," Grainger said.
Crime prevention notices like the ones being left in cars can also be issued for having a garage door open, not locking a bicycle, leaving keys in your car, or leaving valuables in your car in plain sight.