Despite the Bedford Police Department's recent arrest of a New Rochelle man for a rash of car thefts over a six-month period, it's likely that car break-ins will occur again, say police.
The best offense to these types of crimes? Denying criminals the opportunity to commit them, Lt. Jeffrey Dickan said.
"Theft is a crime of opportunity," he said. "It is far easier to prevent a crime from occurring than to attempt to identify an offender after it has occurred."
To that end, the police department is starting a new program called "Operation Open Door" to to combat thefts from vehicles. Here's how it works: Officers on patrol will periodically check parked vehicles to see if doors or windows are unlocked, and to see if valuables are left in plain sight.
The valuables they're looking for—the ones car thieves want—include electronic equipment like GPS devices, cell phones, computers and accessories; packages and hand bags.
If officers observe any of these conditions to be apparent in a parked vehicle, they will leave a notice on the car documenting their findings. The note will be folded and left on the windshield of the vehicle with the words "Official notice from the Bedford Police Department" in red ink.
The police department shared these additional tips to prevent the theft of your car or theft of property from within it:
- Always lock your car, even at home. About half of stolen vehicles are not locked, and a significant number of thefts occur in the vehicle owner’s driveway.
- Never leave your keys in your car. Roughly 20 percent of stolen cars get driven away with their own keys.
- Hide your valuables. Don’t tempt a thief by leaving valuables in plain sight.
- Keep your windows completely closed when you’re not in the vehicle. An open window makes it easier for a thief to unlock your car.
- If you see something, say something. When you see suspicious or out of the ordinary activity, call the police at the time you observe the activity. Delaying a call to the police reduces the likelihood of identifying the offender.
For more information, call 914-241-3111.