Vehicles being broken into

Published 9:33 am Friday, August 7, 2009

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is investigating numerous motor vehicle breaking and enterings in the Niles and New Buffalo Township areas.  Dozens of townships residents have awakened to discover their unlocked, parked vehicles robbed overnight of items such as GPS devices, cameras, digital music players, car components and money.

Theft from parked cars is one of the most common complaints received by police in residential neighborhoods. According to the U.S. Department of Justice statistics, these type of crimes make up 36 percent of all larcenies reported to law enforcement.

Deputy Karen Klug from the Crime Prevention unit has some simple advise: Keep car doors locked, windows up, and remove all valuables from plain sight.”   Don’t invite a vehicle break-in by leaving packages or valuables (radar detectors, cell phones, ipods, gps, etc.) in sight.  Take your valuables with you or lock them in the truck. Remember the old saying “Out of sight – out of mind.”

Here are some additional Crime Prevention Tips:

– Whenever possible, park your vehicle in well-lighted area.

– If you have a garage – use it.

– Turn on your homes exterior lights, light up the area. It forces the intruder to work in an area where they maybe seen and reported to law enforcement .

– Trim shrubs and bushes – so you aren’t providing the thief with cover.

– Record make, model and serial numbers of all electronics. It makes it easier to track and return stolen/recovered property.

– Use your auto alarm if you have one

– If you see someone suspicious contact your local law enforcement agency and give them a description of the person(s), vehicle and direction of travel.

– Start a Neighborhood watch and be informed about safety in your neighborhood.