The Noblesville Police Dept. released a set of tips today, June 16, to help remind residents of preventative measures to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle theft or theft from vehicles.
“A common denominator in the majority of our vehicle break-in cases is that thieves have made access by entering through an unlocked vehicle door and removing items that were in plain view,” said NPD Lt. Bruce Barnes. “Thieves also appear to be striking residential areas in particular. We have also experienced cases that involved items being taken out of garages when the garage door was kept open throughout the night.”
Citizens should call NPD immediately if they feel they have been a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft. Call 911 if the theft is in progress. Otherwise, call 317-773-1300, NPD’s non-emergency line.
“It is important to report all crimes to the NPD even if nothing was damaged or missing or the loss is small and you are not planning to file an insurance claim,” Barnes said. “This enables our Department to assess the magnitude and nature of the problem and assign prevention, patrol and enforcement assets accordingly.”
For residential parking:
1. Never leave your vehicle unsecured, even if you are only going to be away from it for a short time. Thieves only need a few seconds to open an unlocked door and retrieve valuables that are left in plain sight.
2. If you have to leave valuables in your vehicle, secure them in an area that is out of sight or in the trunk before leaving your vehicle. Thieves will often take the time to look into windows before choosing a particular vehicle to break-in. Unsecured items such as GPS devices, CDs, electronic devices, purses, cell phones, audio systems, keys, weapons and other items are often the targets of a thief.
3. Etch your driver’s license number on all items of value and that are removable, e.g., audio equipment, electronic devices, GPS devices. The Noblesville Police Dept. supports programs such as Operation Identification that can assist you and law enforcement should you become a victim of theft. More information on this program can be found at www.cityofnoblesville.org/police under the tab “Crime Prevention and Education Programs.”
4. Park in your garage, if you have one. Don’t leave your vehicle in the street, in an alley or in your driveway. If you have to park in the street, avoid dark or isolated areas.
5. Install an alarm system that will sound when someone attempts to break-in, move, or start your vehicle. Always activate the system when leaving your vehicle unattended.
6. Don’t leave spare keys attached to the outside of your vehicle or hidden inside your vehicle. An experienced thief knows all the hiding places. Store spare keys in your wallet or purse.
7. Don’t leave your garage door opener in your vehicle.
For parking in the community:
1. Park in open, well-lighted and populated areas near your destination, preferably one in view of a security camera. Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters or other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places. Avoid parking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles.
2. Turn off your engine, roll up all your windows, lock all doors, and take your keys with you even if you are making a quick stop at a store, gas station, or even in your driveway.
3. Don’t leave your vehicle in an unattended lot for an extended period of time.
For residential and garage doors:
1. Always be sure to lock all residential doors when possible. This would also include the door leading into the residence from the garage.
2. Keep garage doors closed and locked when possible. Some thieves will scout neighborhoods and look for opportunities to view the content of a garage through an open garage door.