; Adam Bello, County Executive

6. Preventing thefts from your vehicle

Theft from autos is on the rise and so are the efforts of the Sheriff's Office to stop it. In November 1999 the Monroe County Sheriff's Office began a media campaign to increase public awareness and solicit citizen cooperation. Crime prevention has always been a partnership; the police can't do it alone. As we step up our enforcement, we need the public to step up its target hardening efforts.

Our battle cry is — Lock Your Car, Take Your Stuff.

What does it mean? It means the bad guys have shifted gears and are now more aggressive than ever. They won't hesitate to smash a window or pry open a vehicle's trunk. So whenever possible, try not to leave valuables in your vehicle at all. However, if you have no choice, it's certainly best to keep things out of sight and locked in the trunk. Thieves still look for the easiest target and don't want to draw a lot of attention to themselves. Prying open a vehicle trunk with a screwdriver or pry bar does not look normal.

Remember: if we can't always stop them, we can at least slow them down. And then their chances of being seen and caught increase dramatically.

Here are some tips to remember:

  • Lock your car and take your valuables with you when possible.
  • If you must leave valuables in your car, lock them in your trunk or keep them out of sight.
  • Be aware. Look for prying eyes or suspicious individuals.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • Remove cell phone antennas when possible.
  • If making more than one trip to put items in your car while at the mall, consider moving your vehicle to make it look like you've left.
  • Consider an alarm system if you must often leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Plan ahead before you go shopping. Purchase small items that can easily remain with you first. Larger items that would probably have to remain in the vehicle and can't be kept out of sight should be purchased last.
  • Report suspicious persons. We need to look out for each other.
  • Report all crimes to the police.

Together we can take a bite out of this crime.

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