Crime Prevention Corner Week Of 11/15/2021

By: 
Ron Craig

Thefts from cars are on the rise; take precautions

In the past week or so, there has been an uptick of reports of thefts from vehicles during the nighttime hours. Residents are waking up in the morning and getting ready to drive to work, only to find someone has been taken from their vehicles.
There are some ways to prevent this from occurring, but the most important one is to not entice thieves by leaving items in the vehicle to attract them. Thieves will rarely take a chance on getting caught if they don’t see something in a vehicle to take.
One night last week, we got reports of car alarms sounding, alerting residents to call us. Thieves don’t like attention, so they don’t want to chance setting off an alarm, especially if they don’t see something they want inside that vehicle.
In one of these recent thefts, the owner reported several thousands of dollars’ worth of items were taken. Seeing these kinds of things as he or she was looking through the vehicles that night must have seemed like a dream come true. Of course, the owner will have to shell out big bucks to replace these items, while the thief gets pennies on the dollar for them at a pawn shop.
We tell shoppers to hide their purchases in a trunk or cover them in an SUV to avoid attracting thieves. The same advice goes all 365 days of the year to everyone. If you can’t remove items from the vehicle, at least hide them.
Lighting is another deterrent to keep thieves away. They don’t like operating in well-lit areas. It’s a good idea to install motion-sensor lights that shine on cars. This is a good way to protect your property while keeping your electric bills to a minimum. Even if the lights aren’t motion-sensored, the cost of electricity is probably cheaper than replacing stolen items.
Many times, people ask if they should keep their cars locked or not. There are two lines of thought on this. If you lock your vehicle and the thief wants in bad enough, they will break a window, which will cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Thieves also don’t want to take chances on setting off alarms by breaking a window, so in this line of thought it is best to lock the vehicle. Again, we go back to the idea of not leaving things in sight a thief may want.
Many vehicles now come with alarms as standard equipment. There are also car alarm kits that can be purchased and installed. The cost of these after-market kits can be less expensive than replacing items taken from a vehicle.
We know that these thefts from vehicles are many times related to drug use. The items taken in a car theft can be quickly turned into cash to buy drugs. While we continue to work diligently to combat the drug problem, people can do their part in this by doing what they can to prevent theft.

This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.

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