BPD reports of items being stolen from vehicles

Boonville Daily News

Boonville Police Chiefs Bobby Welliver said over the past 24 hours the department has taken several reports of items being stolen from vehicles.

Welliver said most of the vehicles were unlocked at the time of the theft. These thefts occurred in different locations in the city. It is very important you keep your vehicles always locked and don’t items of value in a parked vehicle.

Listed below are a few safety steps to keep thieves from making you a victim.

Theft prevention starts before you even leave your vehicle.

Smash-and-grab thieves typically are not criminal masterminds who craft clever schemes to swipe your stuff. Most are casual opportunists. They see something they like, so they break in and take it. So before you get out of your car, make sure your valuables are out of sight. Never leave these things lying out on your seats, dashboard or floor:

Phone 

Purse or wallet 

Laptop (or its bag)

A briefcase or backpack 

Shopping bags 

MP3 player or other small electronics 

CDs if you still use them

Cash – yes, even loose change/coins

Your keys – it actually happens!

Car smash-and-grabs happen out of sight.

Most thieves go solo. The last thing they want is a crowd of onlookers with cell phones and pepper spray ready. So try to keep your car highly visible:

Park near other people. Go for busy lots where there’s plenty of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. 

If you'll be away from your car after dark, park in a well-lit area or near a lamppost. 

Choose a lot with an attendant over one without.

Discourage thieves with anti-theft measures

Thieves are also lazy. With car break-ins, they’re usually not looking for a huge payoff. What this type of thief wants is a quick thrill – or maybe a little extra revenue – for as little work as possible. By making your car a harder target for these people, you make it less desirable. So:

Always lock your doors and roll up your windows when you park. 

Activate your security system if you have one. 

Use after-market measures, like mechanisms that lock the steering wheel to protect your car and alert thieves that you've taken extra security measures.

Don’t use the console or glove box as mobile lock boxes. These are obvious to thieves, too.

Don't hand them the keys

Again, car smash-and-grabbers don’t normally take the vehicle itself. However, there is always the chance that a key on the dash or in the ignition may motivate the more daring into outright auto theft. Also, remember that if you have a great hiding place for a key – say, in your wheel well or above the sun visor – a thief has also thought of it. So if you’re away from your car, keep your keys away from it too. Preferably with you.

Beware a watchful eye

While your trunk is better than the passenger compartment for shopping bags and laptops, an experienced thief will often stake out a parking lot and watch you transfer your things there. So before you even get to where you’ll be leaving your car unattended, move your valuables to the trunk or wherever they’re out of sight.