An increase in vehicle related thefts has prompted police in Nassau County's Seventh Precinct to issue a warning to the public reminding them to secure their vehicles.
There have been at least 33 thefts in the precinct since April, according to police.
The thefts have been all around the precincts and there have also been thefts in neighboring areas such as Levittown, Wantagh, Merrick and Bellmore.
On May 18 the rear window of 1990 red Ford Taurus was reportedly smashed while parked in a driveway on Illona Lane in Merrick. Additionally, someone reported the rear window of their 2001 white Ford Windstar smashed sometime between May 19 and 20 on Bellmore Avenue in Bellmore. Another complaintant in Wantagh discovered the rear window shattered sometime between May 20 and 21 at the Mandalay School on Bayview Avenue.
But the the thefts are preventable, and police have issued several reminders to the public.
- When leaving your car unattended, close your windows and lock the doors. Half of all stolen cars are left unlocked.
- Remove the keys from the ignition; one fifth of all car thefts are caused by leaving the car unattended while the engine is running.
- Park the car in a well-lit, busy parking lot or a lot with an attendant.
- Park your car in your garage or lighted driveway.
- Do not leave your insurance cards, registration or title in the glove box. Carry copies of your automobile’s paperwork with you; leave the originals in a safe place. This hinders criminals from impersonating you when they are stopped by the police.
- Never leave valuables such as backpacks, purses, iPods, GPS systems in plain view. If you must leave items in the auto you should lock them out of view in the trunk.
- Criminals are watching you when youdrive into parks, running tracks, gyms etc. They see you arrive at your destination and watch you put thevaluables under the seat or in the trunk of the car. As soon as you leave they will break into the car and steal the valuables. To deter criminals from breaking into your car while you are away, put the items into the trunk before you arrive at your destination or carry them with you.
- When the vehicle is unattended don’t leave your GPS unit in plain view on the windshield. Take down the GPS holder and try to wipe the suction cup residue off the windshield.
- Thieves can steal all four tires off your car in a less than a minute. They usually steal the tires in the early morning hours when you are sleeping. Install a locking lug nut on each rim. Don’t keep the key to your lug nut lock easily accessible in your glove box. Tuck it away in your trunk.
Last week, there were at least 10 vehicle thefts in the Seventh Precinct.