CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – You may think its safe to leave your car unlocked in your driveway.
However, police say this is exactly why so many residents are being robbed.
“The days of smashing windows and breaking into cars is very rare nowadays. The biggest thing we see is people walking through neighborhoods looking for unlocked vehicles.”Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk
Chicopee police officer Mike Wilk told the 22News I-Team there are teams traveling state to state, targeting unlocked cars in residential neighborhoods.
“These people are on bikes, these people are walking, they cross city lines and they just walk through neighborhoods. It’s not necessarily your neighbors you have to worry about it’s the people who come into the neighborhoods.”Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk
Locking your car doors should always be your first defense to prevent thieves from entering your vehicle. If you do have anything valuable in your car, it’s important to make sure it cannot be seen through the windows.
Officer Wilk said it’s not just money and credit cards thieves are after. They’ll also take jewelry, shopping bags, and electronics.
“Hide them. Put them in your trunk if you don’t have room in your trunk and if you have to put them in your back seat, put a blanket on it. Something you can cover it. Take it out of view. Make it so if someone takes a peek at your car there is nothing of interest, and they will move on.”Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk
Wilk told the 22News I-Team parking your car in the garage doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe. Wilk said thieves have stolen items from vehicles with the garage door open. He also said an anti-theft security system in your car, like a window alarm, can deter thieves.
Also, lock your car, even if it’s in the garage. If you see someone in your neighborhood checking door handles, just call the police right away. Chicopee police have arrested thieves after residents reported seeing them.
Chicopee Police have had more than 170 home and car break-in calls, so far this year.
Insurance companies report people losing more than $1 billion dollars in personal items stolen from vehicles every year.