WCSO NEWS — The recent series of vehicle burglaries in the Galena area is an important reminder to all County residents of some basic tips that should help keep their vehicles and valuables safer.
In most cases, vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Criminals look for easy targets such as unlocked cars or valuables left in plain sight.
Statistics show that unlocked cars are still a big issue. Remember to make sure doors are locked before you leave you vehicle.
It’s also important not to leave any indication that there may be something worth stealing in a car by making sure that nothing of value, or any trace of valuables, is visible in the car.
The Sheriff’s Office also advises against trying to hide purses, wallets or other valuables after parking a vehicle. If potential thieves are watching the parking lot, which is always a possibility, they’ll know that something valuable is in the vehicle and exactly where it is hidden.
An overview of common vehicle burglary prevention tips include:
- Lock the door when leaving the car. Still one of the most common issues with vehicle burglaries
- Don’t leave valuables in the car. If valuables must be left in a vehicle, be sure to lock them in the trunk or glove compartment not under jackets or blankets behind the seat as that is one of the first places criminals look
- If you need to leave valuable items in a vehicle, place them out of sight before reaching your destination
- Leave no trace. Don’t leave any sign that there might be valuables hidden in a vehicle by leaving items such as docking stations or connector cables visible. Leave nothing in plain sight that might make the vehicle a target for thieves, not even loose coins or a CD.
- Be sure to set the car alarm or anti-theft devices. These are still effective deterrents against criminals who are looking for the easiest target
- Keep windows completely closed. Partially open windows may make your vehicle an easier target for thieves
Anyone who is a victim of a vehicle burglary, or observes suspicious activity, is urged to contact the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.