Volume 16, Number 2
Over the last several days, thieves have struck several unlocked cars in Wake Forest neighborhoods, and the Wake Forest Police Department is reminding residents the best way to forestall a break-in is to lock your vehicles when they are not in use.
An overwhelming majority of the break-ins involve vehicles that were unlocked or show no signs of forced entry. In many instances, the owner also left valuables such as GPS devices, electronics equipment, iPods, handbags, cash, cell phones, computers and weapons visible to thieves.
You can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim by simply locking your unoccupied vehicles at all times, removing your valuable items and any extra set of keys from the vehicle, and double-checking to make sure your car is locked before going to bed at night. If an item can’t be removed, then its best to make sure it is out of sight to potential crooks looking for an easy target.
Another thing you can do is call the Wake Forest Police Department if you think something looks suspicious. As a Wake Forest resident, you are the police department’s most valuable resource. If you call about something that seems suspicious and it turns out to be nothing, then that’s ok. But it could turn out to be something after all. So when in doubt, make the call.
Here are a few additional tips suggested by the Wake Forest Police Department:
- Park in open, well-lighted, and populated areas near your destination. Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places.
- Avoid parking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles.
- Park in lots or garages where you don’t have to leave your keys.
- If you have a garage – use it! Then lock the vehicle and the garage.
- If possible, don’t leave your vehicle on the street, in an alley, or on your driveway. If you have to park on a street, avoid dark or isolated areas.
- Turn off your engine, roll up all windows, lock all doors, and take your keys with you even if you are making a quick stop at a store or gas station, or even in your driveway.
- Don’t leave spare keys inside your vehicle. An experienced thief knows all the hiding places.
- Don’t leave cell phones, wallets, purses or anything of value in vehicles.
- Don’t leave your vehicle in an unattended public lot for an extended period of time.
- Install an alarm system that will sound when someone attempts to break in, move, tilt, or start your vehicle. Always activate the system when leaving the vehicle.
- Check your vehicle if you hear the alarm sound, but don’t try to stop a person attempting to break in. Get a good description of the person and call the police.
- If something looks suspicious, then it probably is. Call the police.
Making sure Wake Forest is a safe place to live and work requires the cooperation of the Police Department and the town’s residents. To report suspicious behavior or activity, call 9-1-1 or 919-556-9111.