July 3, 2019
Theft from auto can occur at any time, from any vehicle. Often, valuables left in a car are taken during the night, but daytime thefts can occur on busy streets, with nobody reporting any suspicious behavior.
What Property Is Stolen? The following items, although not all-inclusive, should be taken into your home, or you risk them being taken by thieves: cellular phones, money, purse, wallet, briefcases, CDs, iPods, portable GPS systems, laptop computers, store packages and sports equipment.
How? Method of entry varies too. Unlocked cars with valuables seen and in easy reach are as common as a window or door lock broken to gain entry.
What you can do:
Lock doors and close windows completely.
Remove valuables from the vehicle or lock them in the trunk where they are out of sight.
Do not leave electronic devices or accessories visible. (A cigarette lighter plug or iPad/iPod adapter are tell-tale signs of valuables in the car. Replace the lighter when exiting the vehicle.)
Do not leave money in the car.
Park in your garage, if you have one, or in a well-lit area.
Install "tapered" door lock or an anti-theft device that has a visible indicator.
Aid to Recovery: Some valuables can't be taken out of the vehicle, such as a stereo or speakers. When installing custom sound equipment, record the serial numbers and/or engrave your driver's license on the items before installation. If stolen, those numbers could make a difference in locating and recovering the property, and prosecuting the thieves.
The biggest help a community can give its police force is information, when you see something out of the ordinary, suspicious person(s), or vehicle(s), call and report it. The fact of the matter is that we cannot be everywhere at once; we need your eyes and ears to help us in our efforts of making our community as safe and crime free as possible.
If they see it, they can steal it! We ask that you continue to keep your valuables safe and be sure that your purse, cell phone, laptop, or other valuables are not left lying in plain view in your vehicle, be aware of whether or not you locked your vehicle, and make sure you have your keys with you at all times; these are all situations of opportunity that criminals look for to victimize good law abiding residents.
We are wise enough to know that no matter where we live there will be some type of crime that occurs. However, we can make it more difficult for the thieves to steal property by following some basic crime prevention tips, such as removing valuables from your vehicle, or hiding your valuables from plain view (such as in your trunk), locking your vehicle, and taking your keys - you are less likely to be a victim.
Let’s make a difference together! If you see suspicious activity, on the street or in a parking lot, call Takoma Park Police at 301-270-1100. And, please remove all valuables from your vehicle.