Manchester Police are reporting a spike in thefts from motor vehicles, up 3 percent over the past three months compared with previous quarterly statistics.
As a result they are reminding residents to secure their car doors, regardless of where they live, work and shop.
Over the past three months there were 242 thefts from cars reported, and 121 of them – or 50 percent– involved an unsecured or unlocked vehicle door, said Sgt. Brian O’Keefe, up from 47 percent from the previous reporting period.
“And mind you, in the other 50 percent, victims often say they were unsure whether they locked their cars,” O’Keefe said.
Because securing your vehicle is a simple precaution, and would deter many of these crimes, police are making an issue of it and are preparing to launch a “Lock it or Lose it” campaign to heighten awareness, O’Keefe said.
Most criminals look for a crime of opportunity and an unsecured door presents them easy access to your valuables, he said.
O’Keefe said the most frequently stolen items reported by victims include everything from loaded hand guns, laptops, iPads, iPods, and cell phones, to loose change.
It’s the loaded guns that becomes a particular concern for police, O’Keefe said.
“Oh yeah, we see it all the time – people leave guns in their glove boxes or under their seats in an unlocked vehicle. Then they’re shocked when someone steals it,” O’Keefe said.
Residents are reminded to lock their car doors and always secure firearms in their homes, and refrain from leaving weapons in a vehicle – especially one that is unlocked, O’Keefe said.