Sometimes the best advice is the most simple. If you want to prevent burglary of a vehicle, make sure you lock it up. Sounds simple, but often the hassles of day-to-day living get in the way. You may be leaving your car for just a moment. You may think you’re in a safe neighborhood. You may be in a hurry. There are a lot of reasons you may skip locking up.
But if you can get out of the habit of treating it casually you’ve taken an important step.
Residents locking their car doors at night was one of the reasons cited by Wallingford Police Chief William Wright for a recent decrease in vehicle burglaries. The others were more officers working overnight and the targeting of areas where burglaries were taking place more often.
“We’d like it to be zero, but thankfully it’s at least holding steady as we continue to work on this issue,” said Wright.
Staffing increases instituted in February have turned the tide in Wallingford, from a spike of 19 burglaries that month to monthly totals ranging from 10 to 13 since. Most burglaries take place near the center of town, where there tends to be more vehicles.
Why does it make sense to lock your doors? Because one of the techniques thieves use is simply traveling along a residential street looking for cars that are unlocked. That makes it easy, after all.
It was a wake-up call for resident Mike Agro, who told the Record-Journal, “you feel unsafe, violated,” after burglars went through an unlocked car in his driveway.
The problem isn’t limited to Wallingford, of course. Earlier this summer, Southington resident Jeremy Glazewski helped start a neighborhood watch in response to a string of vehicle break-ins.
Awareness is the first step, and efforts like those in Wallingford and Southington help in that regard, but it has to be followed by action, which means that along with increased efforts by police vehicle owners should follow the simple advice: Locking vehicles is a simple precaution to take.