Chief: Be wary of vehicle break-ins

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 22, 2016

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr is cautioning residents to lock their vehicles and put valuables out of sight to avoid vehicle break-ins.

“Folks break into vehicles as a crime of opportunity,” Barr said. “A lot of times there’s something valuable in plain sight or the doors are unlocked. These thieves go around just puling handles to check for unlocked vehicles. They’ll rummage through the vehicle for 30 seconds to a minute and then move on to the next car.”

Barr said that police caught the thieves responsible for a rash of break-ins a few months ago, but that vehicle break-ins are always a possibility.

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“You’re always going to have vehicle break-ins,” Barr said. “Being in a college town makes it a bit more prevalent because young people often have iPads or instruments or something else valuable in their cars.”

A real danger that Barr identified was the possibility of thieves getting their hands on firearms that have been left in a vehicle.

“You should never leave a firearm in a vehicle unattended,” Barr said. “You have to make sure that you have them secured at all times. I would hate to know someone stole my weapon and used it in a crime.”

In addition to having firearms or valuables stolen, victims could also have their identities taken if they can get their hands on IDs or credit cards.

“It’s really inconvenient if someone steals your wallet and it has your credit card and debit card in it,” Barr said. “And especially if it has something like your social security card in it.”

So hide your valuables, lock your doors and make sure not to leave firearms or wallets in the vehicle.

“You don’t want to make it easy for them,” Barr said.