SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Police Department is reminding the western Massachusetts community to lock up their cars and avoid leaving cars unattended.

With cooler temperatures in the valley, often times people leave their cars unattended and unlocked as they warm up their vehicles before their morning commute. Recently there has been an uptick in car break-ins in the city, so protect your property by securing it properly before the end of the day or as you warm it up in the morning.

Another helpful tip from police is to avoid leaving anything of value visible in your vehicle, such as bags, wallets, important documents just put them away in your compartments or bring them inside.

AAA has some tips for drivers this winter, to help you avoid any car problems:

  • Remember to check your car batteries, and make sure that your battery is fully-charged and in good condition. If you hear an unusual sound coming from the starter motor when the ignition key is turned, you might have a weak battery.
  • Batteries more than two years old should be tested to closely monitor their conditions.
  • Drivers should also purchase oil that is recommended for their vehicle.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gas in your car.
  • In the morning, let your car run for at least a minute before driving, but extended warm-ups are not necessary.

AAA also has a list of useful things to keep in your vehicle during the winter season:

  • A charged cellphone
  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water and snacks
  • A flashlight with extra fresh batteries
  • Blankets
  • Rags, paper towels or wipes
  • Basic set of tools, duct tape, road flares
  • Ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt, even cat litter will work
  • Raincoat, gloves
  • A shovel