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Prevent Car Break Ins! October 11, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Crime Prevention.
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As school is back in, days get shorter and darkness stays longer, we commonly see an increase in vehicle break ins. Vehicle break ins are nearly always a crime of opportunity.

Two key points to remember to prevent break ins? Lock your car, and keep valuables out of sight!! We want to urge citizens to follow tips in order to not become a victim of vehicle break-ins, how to prevent becoming a target:

—make sure your vehicle is secured and locked
—keep GPS units, cell phones, iPods, radar detectors and other electronics OUT OF SIGHT
—remove keys from the ignition
—lock toolboxes in the bed of trucks, especially company vehicles and work trucks.
—keep serial/owner applied numbers in a safe place
—park vehicles in well-lit areas or install a motion sensor light near where cars are parked

“The best course of action is not to leave anything out in your vehicle that can be seen,” says Crime Prevention Sgt. Lee Ross

According to Sgt. Ross, simply locking items in a car trunk will not stop a vehicle breaking/entering suspect.

“In many of the cases we’re investigating, the suspects can break into the vehicles in as little as 20 seconds,” said Sgt. Ross.

Sgt. Ross also cautioned against keeping garage door openers inside vehicles or inside women’s pocketbooks.

“Officers are seeing a trend where a car is broken into, and a vehicle registration is taken along with a garage door opener,” said Sgt. Ross. “In some cases, the suspect or suspects have gone to the victim’s house, opening a garage and possibly making entry into a residence.”

South Bend Police investigate many vehicle larcenies all over the city. There are some patterns, but the common theme is randomness. Based upon a vehicle simply not being locked as criminals try door handles in a parking lot, can make your car a target. ALWAYS lock your car and keep your windows secure may be enough. Keeping tempting valuables like GPS units, iPods and purses will be enough to prevent a smash and grab. Take these easy steps to prevent your car and you from being vicimized.