Series of automobile burglaries prompt warning

4/3/2014

By KELTON BROOKS

By KELTON BROOKS

kbrooks@gctelegram.com

Garden City police are urging the public to lock their vehicles and stow away possessions after a recent rash of automobile burglaries.

"Any time we see a rise, whether small or large in a particular crime, we are going to take a look to see what else we can do to be proactive in preventing it," said Garden City police Capt. Michael Reagle. "In addition, we would continue to ask the public to report to us anything they see that is suspicious to them."

According to police reports, since Sunday, there have been 10 automobiles break-ins resulting in a loss of more than $1,500 in stolen items.

Some of the stolen items include iPads and iPods, car stereos, cash left in vehicles, navigation systems, and handicap decals.

Each year, $1.255 billion in personal items and accessories are stolen from vehicles in the U.S., according to statistics from the FBI.

The listed areas of vehicle break-ins in Garden City were in the 1000 block of Center Street, 3100 block of East Kansas Avenue, 200 block of North 10th Street, 600 block of North 12th Street, 800 block of Campus Drive, 600 block of Mulberry Street, 900 block of North Taylor Avenue, 100 block of Summit Street, and the 1800 block of West Kansas Avenue.

"A majority of the auto burglaries that we have had involve unlocked vehicles," Reagle said. "Therefore, our first recommendation would be for folks to lock their vehicle when they are away from it. It is also not a good idea to store valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain view. If you have to store something in your vehicle, at a bare minimum you should put it where it cannot readily be seen, or your trunk if possible."

Besides locking your vehicles, police also list other vehicle break-in preventions tips.

* Keep your vehicle clean because any personal item visible from the outside could be seen as valuable to thieves.

* Conceal all items: Don't leave any bait out for thieves. Stow your electronics and accessories so they are not visible to passersby. Evidence of certain items might be enough to pique the interest of thieves, so hide those, too. This includes power plugs, iPod adapters, navigational systems, or windshield suction-cup mounts.

* Get an alarm for your vehicle.

* Make sure all windows or sunroofs are completely shut.

* Get car stereos with removable faceplates, if possible.

* Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, this makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn the item, will be identified.

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