It’s simple — lock your car | News, Sports, Jobs – The Steubenville Herald-Star
One of the simplest things anyone can do to protect their vehicle is to make sure the windows are all shut and the doors are locked.
A reminder of that came last weekend, when several vehicles were entered in neighborhoods through the West End of Steubenville, other parts of the city and in Mingo Junction.
Police reports from the early part of the week show just how many people were affected, many during the overnight hours between Saturday and Sunday. In just about all cases where money and other things were taken from the vehicles, they were unlocked.
The suspected thieves apparently just walked down the streets and tried door handles. If they found the vehicle to be locked, they moved on.
If it was unlocked, they would venture inside, looking for money, computers, phones, wallets — anything of value that had been left in the vehicle. That even included important papers that had been stored in the glove compartment or other bins inside the vehicle.
Since the incidents involved little more than opening a door on a car or a truck, there was little that would have caught the attention of the owners or the neighbors who lived nearby — there was no broken glass, no tearing metal, no obvious sound that a person would associate with a break-in.
Which meant a lot of people were surprised Sunday morning when they went outside and found that someone had gone through their vehicle.
Unfortunately, vandalism and theft involving vehicles — whether the interior is ransacked or the vehicle is just taken — cannot be completely eliminated, but there are some general steps just about everyone can take to make sure their vehicles are as safe as it can be:
≤ Make sure you are parking in a well-lit area. While a lot of neighborhoods have street lights, that’s not always the case. If that’s your area, you can always install motion-activated lights. Darkness is the friend of the criminal –it allows them to do their work unnoticed.
≤ Don’t leave the windows open and the doors unlocked. Again, that just makes it too easy to get into a vehicle undetected.
≤ Don’t leave your keys in the car — or near the car. No matter how sure you are you have found the perfect hiding place, thieves know where spare keys are likely to be hidden on or around cars.
≤ Don’t leave items of value in your vehicle. Leaving a phone, a camera, a computer, change, cash or a wallet in the open where it can be seen through the window is never a good idea.
≤ Make sure your vehicle’s alarm system is activated and working.
≤ Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Most people are aware of the traffic patterns of their particular neighborhoods, especially the approximate times their neighbors are coming or going. Activity at odd hours might not be anything — someone might have just stayed out late with a friend or had to work over, meaning they came home later than usual. But it also could be the trolls checking out the streets.
If your car is targeted, the best-case scenario would be that a window is broken and something is taken. A far worse case would be that the vehicle is stolen, and that’s becoming a much bigger problem. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there …….
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