Police agencies in Westchester are urging village residents to lock the doors of their vehicles overnight following a rash of break-ins.
Police said that some sticky-fingered suspects got into several unlocked cars earlier this week, prompting them to remind residents of the importance of locking up overnight and keeping valuables out of sight.
Tips offered by police to avoid having vehicles broken into include:
- Never leave keys in the car. Cars have been stolen while warming up in front of homes and while the owner has stopped briefly to mail a letter or buy a newspaper. This also applies to garage owners.
- Park in a well-lit area. Police said that most auto thieves prefer working under the cover of darkness. Garage doors should also always be locked.
- Anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks and ignition should be used, if applicable.
- Cut-off switches and alarm, while not foolproof, should be activated and “are a proven deterrent to car thieves.”
- Packages should not be left in open view in the vehicle. They should be locked in a trunk or taken inside.
- Residents living in apartment complexes with parking lots should urge building management to install security cameras and better lighting in the parking areas.
- If a suspicious person is found in the neighborhood - people trying to open car doors, driving slowly around the same block several times, driving through lots and streets at night with their headlights turned off - police should immediately be notified.
- Police noted that to falsely report an auto larceny is insurance fraud, and can be punishable with imprisonment or fines.
Other tips include installing a locking fuel cap, storing valuables out of sight, not leaving a valet key inside a vehicle and parking in a well-lit location. They also suggested installing an alarm with a kill switch, installing wheel locks and not leaving a car running unattended.
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