I thought I would only have to write this column once this summer.
To be fair, I figured I'd only need to write it just once this year.
However, circumstances have changed.
Back in July, police officers in Youngsville and sheriff's deputies for the county began investigating a series of vehicle "break-ins."
I put break-ins in parenthesis because, unfortunately, law enforcement officials said these vehicles were "unlocked," meaning suspects just jiggled a few handles, opened the door and made off with all kinds of valuable items.
Well, a recent look at sheriff's office reports for the period of Aug. 9-11 revealed even more vehicle break-ins.
On Aug. 9, a dozen people reported thefts from vehicles or vehicle break-ins, primarily in the Youngsville area.
And, in those cases -- you guessed it -- the vehicles were not locked, according to authorities.
Youngsville authorities said they haven't had any new reports of vehicle break-ins, but they continue to investigate the ones they have.
The fact that there was a new spate of vehicle break-ins, where vehicles were left unlocked, is a bit alarming.
Again, most of us of a certain age can regale you with stories of our youth when we didn't have to lock the doors to our homes, let alone our vehicles.
Certainly, those days are gone.
This is not a scientific study, but a quick journey using the Google machine revealed that, basically, 90 percent to 99 percent of vehicle break-ins occur when the vehicles are unlocked.
Most often, suspects look for high-target areas -- subdivisions or neighborhoods with lots of cars in close proximity -- move through during the early morning hours and start pulling on car doors.
If they move through swiftly, say there's a neighborhood with 300 cars, and 10 percent of them are unlocked, that could be a pretty good night because, on top of the fact that people leave their doors unlocked, they often leave valuable items inside -- including, in some cases, weapons.
I don't need to tell you that, most often, stolen handguns are used in crimes because they can't be traced back to the criminal.
So, here I am, again, for the second time in two months time, telling people to lock their vehicles.
I don't want to say that criminals are lazy, but again, non-scientific statistics suggest that vehicle thieves target unlocked cars -- meaning they are not breaking windows or prying open doors to get inside.
They are simply jiggling a handle and seeing if they get lucky.
And, according to a most recent list of police and sheriff's office reports, they are getting lucky, indeed.
So, here's some free advice: Lock your fricking car doors!