The Champaign Police Department is currently investigating multiple cases involving unknown offenders who break into unlocked vehicles and remove items of value left in vehicles.
Over the past ten days, the department has taken 34 reports of burglary to motor vehicles occurring throughout the city. Many of these burglaries could have been prevented and occurred when victims left their property (wallets, backpacks, purses, etc) laying in the vehicle. Therefore, the Champaign Police Department is issuing the following vehicle burglary prevention tips to help reduce the likelihood of residents becoming victims of this crime.
- With the holiday season approaching, residents are urged to lock up vehicles and secure all valuables, even if you plan to be gone for a brief time.
- In addition, valuables in cars should not be left in plain view or should be removed from the vehicle upon exiting. This includes packages, purses, wallets, gym bags, laptops, cell phones, GPS units, MP3 players, coins, etc.
- Covering items in the back seat or placing them under the seats is not an effective way to hide valuables. Instead, secure valuables in the trunk of the car. Without a clear view of valuables, a locked/alarmed car will likely be bypassed for an easier target. It’s not at all uncommon for thieves to walk down a row of parked vehicles and check vehicle doors to see if they are unlocked.
- Never leave windows open or cracked in unattended vehicles.
- Use your alarm or anti-theft device upon exiting your vehicle.
The public is also reminded to lock their garages upon leaving their homes and to secure the vehicles inside. Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary and certainly never overnight. Burglary victims are also reminded not to touch items in the vehicle prior to contacting police and to provide serial numbers of all stolen items. This will aid police in locating your stolen property.