Don’t be a target: Tips to prevent car theft

Crime

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There is an increase in car break-ins throughout Hampden county over the past few months and the district attorney is reminding residents to lock their cars.

According to Hampden County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Jim Leydon, groups of people travel into the area during overnight hours, park in a neighborhood, and walk around looking for unlocked vehicles to break into. If the cars are unlocked they steal any items inside and even the car if the keys are in it.

Leydon said many of the cars that were stolen in the past few months were recovered in the Hartford, Connecticut area and the break ins were reported in East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, West Springfield and Ludlow.

22News spoke with Sgt. William Albano of the Longmeadow Police Department who stressed many of these break-ins could have been avoided.

“Ninety-percent of the vehicles are left unlocked,” said Sgt. Albano. “The suspects, perpetrators will just come lift the door handle and if it’s open they’ll go through the car and then leave. Very, very rarely will they smash a window to get inside the car.”

In order to prevent yourself from falling victim to these crimes, follow these three steps:

  • Lock your car when it is unattended and overnight
  • Never leaves keys or key fobs in your car, even in your own driveway
  • Remove valuables or keep them out of sight

Motion-activated lights, security cameras, and car alarms can also be helpful in deterring thieves.

If you see suspicious activity or suspicious people checking parked cars in your neighborhood in the middle of the night, call your local police department and report it.

Chicopee police are warning residents to lock their car doors after a series of break-ins occurred Monday night.

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