Due to a recent increase in larcenies from vehicles, Nassau County P.O.P. Officer Kurt Faraczek of the Seventh Precinct in Seaford offers the following information on ways to prevent becoming a victim:
The Nassau County Police Department wants you to keep your auto and its contents safe and secure. The police department has noticed a recent change in certain crimes relating to automobiles.
Some of the following suggestions are quite easy to do and they limit the possibility of theft of your auto or its contents.When leaving your car unattended, close your windows and lock the doors. Half of all stolen cars are left unlocked.
Remove the keys, because one fifth of all car thefts are caused by leaving the car unattended while the engine is running. It only takes about 10 seconds to steal your idling car while you are in the convenience store. Park the car in a well-lit, busy parking lot or a lot with an attendant. Park your car in your garage or lighted driveway.
Do not leaveyour insurance cards, registration or title in the glove box. Leave the originalsin a safe place and only carry the copies in your wallet. This hinders criminalsfrom impersonating you when they are stopped by the police.
Never leave valuables such as laptops, wallets, backpacks, purses, iPods, GPS systems in plain view. If you must leave items in the auto please lock them out of view in the trunk.
Always lock your car doors, especially when it is night. Criminals usually break into cars when it is dark because it makes it harder to spot them while they walk down the block looking for valuables in unlocked vehicles.
Criminals are also observing you when you drive up to gyms, parks, malls, running tracks, etc. They notice when you arrive at your destination and watch you put the valuables under the seat or in the trunk of the car. As soon as you leave they will break into the car and steal the valuables.
To deter criminals from breaking into your unoccupied auto, put the valuables into the trunk before you arrive at your destination or carry them with you. Larcenies of GPS units from autos have always been a concern to the police department.
When the vehicle is unattended don’t leave your GPS unit inplain view on the windshield. Another tip is to take down the GPS holder andwipe the suction cup residue off the windshield.
"We’ve noticed an increase in the thefts of tires and rims. The thieves can steal all four tires off your car in a less than a minute. They usually steal the tires in the early morning hours when you are sleeping. We recommend that you install a locking lug nut on each rim. A set of locking lug nuts from an auto parts store cost around $40. A new set of tires and rims can easily cost thousands," Faraczek wrote.
The thieves will usually pass your car because they have to make too much noise by sledge hammering off the locking lugs.
Overall the best advice to deter thieves is to always lock your auto, par kin a well lit area and leave no valuables in your unattended auto.