EHT Police Warn of Car Burglaries – How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off
Police in Egg Harbor Township are concerned enough about a rash of car burglaries that they have posted an informative and helpful list of ways to protect from having your car broken in to.
This information may seem like common sense, but let's face it, when you leave your wallet on the car seat overnight, you aren't really using common sense..
Here's the car burglary post from Egg Harbor Township Police....
"The Egg Harbor Township Police Department has been experiencing a large number of vehicle burglaries, most of which can be prevented. In 2015 there were 132 vehicle burglaries reported to the Police Department and in 2016 there have been 91 vehicle burglaries thus far. There may be significantly more that have not been reported.
The overwhelming majority of these burglaries involve unlocked vehicles. Suspects will walk through an area or neighborhood and enter unlocked vehicles. They will take anything of value that they find. This includes change, CDs, GPS units, laptops, wallets, EZ Pass units, garage door openers and virtually anything else left in the vehicle. There will be several burglaries reported in an area, or neighborhood, but there is probably many more that do not get reported because the value of the stolen items is very small.
The Egg Harbor Township Police Department is requesting that everyone lock their vehicles, even when parked in front of your residence, because no neighborhood is immune to this type of crime. We also ask that you please remove all valuables and keys from your vehicles. These simple steps can help you keep from becoming a victim of this type of vehicle burglary.
Reminder: KEEP IT SAFE. KEEP IT HIDDEN. KEEP IT LOCKED.
Auto Burglary is a Crime of Opportunity
Most thefts occur when valuables are left unattended in an unsecured vehicle. The thief normally seeks privacy to commit his/her act. Virtually any article left in plain view is apt to be stolen. Most property that is stolen is left unattended or unlocked.
Who provides the burglar with the opportunity? The victim provides the burglar with the opportunity by leaving their vehicle unlocked or their window open. Most property stolen is left in plain view where anyone walking by the car can see it lying there.
Auto Burglary Prevention Tips
• Remove visible items from your vehicle - If you leave items visible in your car, you are a target. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat, especially at a gym. Take these with you or secure them in your trunk.
• Lock Up! Lock your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick errands. Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into the vehicle. Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.
• Vehicle alarms - Buy an alarm and use it! Many people believe that alarms no longer make a difference; however, they do remain an effective deterrent to a burglar. Remember criminals are looking for the easy target.
• Do not attach personal information to your keys - If your keys are stolen, having your personal information or vehicle license number attached only compounds the problem. A criminal now may have access to your home, automobile or office.
• Mail - Do not leave outgoing or incoming mail in your car, especially where visible. This has your name and address on it.
• Garage Door Opener - Avoid leaving this in your car if possible.
• Avoid announcing your vacation on social media. It is easier than you think to look up your address.
• Park Safely! At home, park in your garage if you have one. Lock your car and all garage doors. Park in a well-lit area. Check to see that your vehicle is visible to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
• Record serial numbers-Record the serial numbers and other pertinent information such as make a model for your electronic devices (GPS, laptops, tablets) and cell phones. Familiarize yourself with the features of your devices, some have the ability to be tracked if stolen. Knowing how to activate this service quickly can greatly help law enforcement recover your property and arrest those responsible.
The Egg Harbor Township Police Department is asking the residents of Egg Harbor Township to call the Police Department (927-5200) if they observe any suspicious subjects or activity.