Rash Of Larcenies From Vehicles Spark Concern In Northern Westchester

For residents who don't lock their vehicles, the big news is that more than 100 cars have had been hit by thieves pilfering valuable items left inside, and three have been stolen, in Northern Westchester. 

<p>Car break-ins</p>

Car break-ins

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The rash of larcenies and car thefts have been taking place in Croton-on-Hudson, New Castle, and Bedford, according to officials from each department. 

Nearly 50 thefts occurred and two cars were stolen in Croton over a two-day period, said Croton police Lt. John Nikitopoulos.

The first theft was reported around 2:40 a.m. on Oct. 6, Nikitopoulos said. Officers responded did not see anyone. Later that morning, at least another 24 residents reported thefts from cars, he said.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 worth of goods were stolen out of the vehicles including a Gucci purse with cash inside, Nikitopoulos said.

Interestingly, the purse was found inside a vehicle that was wrecked in Bronxville and the driver ran away, he added.

On Oct. 10, another 25 thefts were reported, as well as the theft of two vehicles including a 2011 Honda Odyssey and a 2015 Toyota Prius, Nikitopoulos said. A $2,500 laptop was inside the Prius, he said.

Nikitopoulos says the department has stepped up patrols, and believes the crimes may be being committed by the same person or group of people. He points to the fact that all of the vehicles were unlocked and one of the stolen vehicles had keys inside.

“We urge people to lock their cars no matter where they park," he added. 

Bedford police are facing the same problems -- residents are leaving their vehicles unlocked and they are being stolen or pilfered, said Bedford Police Department Lt. Matthew Hawley.

Three cars were broken into in Katonah during the early morning hours on Friday night or Saturday morning and a 2012 Ford Taurus with the keys in it was stolen, said Hawley.

An estimated $2,000 worth of valuables were taken from inside the vehicles, Hawley said.

The department has also increased patrols to try to apprehend the criminals. 

Bedford police believe the thefts in the town are related to those in Croton and others in New Castle, Hawley said.

"It's easy to prevent these crimes by locking your vehicle no matter where you park it," said Hawley. "That includes taking all of your valuable inside with you."

In New Castle, police report that one car had items stolen from inside and another was stolen on over the weekend. 

Again, personal property was taken and the crimes took place in the early morning hours, said Det. Sgt. Kieran Murray. 

"Lock your cars no matter where you are, at the train station, in your garage and take your valuables, including your keys inside," he added.

Anyone who is a victim of a car theft or larceny should contact their local police station. Police are also encouraging residents to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. 

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