Police urge drivers to lock cars, hide belongings to deter thieves

From staff reportsNovember 23, 2012 

Raleigh police are urging a three-step program to deter car break-ins.

— Coming back to your car after shopping and finding a thief has helped himself to gifts you bought for someone else is not on anyone’s wish list for the holidays, and Raleigh police say there is simple way to reduce the chance of that happening – what they call “Lock, Take and Hide.”

The three-part formula is to lock your car whenever you leave it, to take your valuables – wallets, purses, phones – with you and to hide items that draw a thief’s interest.

Thieves look for easy prey, police say, and items left in plain view fall into that category.

A quick trip into a store while previously purchased merchandise sits in sight in your car can be a quick trip to anger, frustration and a lot of expense, they note.

“The damage and property loss resulting from an vehicle larceny can easily reach into the thousands of dollars. Not to mention the heartache caused to victims. Property loss and damage is one thing, but the feeling of being violated can linger for quite some time,” police said in announcing. the campaign to educate people.

Thefts from automobiles is, police noted, one of the most commonly reported crimes and one of the most preventable.

Statistics for the year that ended Oct. 31 show that 3,082 thefts from automobiles were reported to Raleigh police, and 28 percent of them were from cars that had not been locked.

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