Protect your vehicles from “crime of opportunity”, Cheektowaga Police warn

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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – After a rash of thefts from vehicles across town, Cheektowaga Police are reminding residents to lock their car doors.

“Ninety-five percent of the cars out there that are getting broken into are unlocked,” Officer Jennifer Szymborski, public information officer for the Cheektowaga Police Department, said.

Thefts from vehicles occur year-round, she added.

“It’s the most popular crime out there because it’s a crime of opportunity,” Szymborski said.

Most of the recent thefts from vehicles in the town have been from residential areas. Often, multiple vehicles on the same street will be stolen from at the same time.

The simplest way to prevent car break-ins is to make sure you lock your vehicle every time you leave it.

Avoid leaving valuable items on your car seats- “purses, computers, sporting equipment, briefcases, backpacks, school bags- make sure you bring them inside,” Szymborski said.

Change and credit cards are also popular targets for theft from vehicles.

Szymborski advises to bring your garage door opener inside with you as well to prevent potential thieves from being able to gain access to your garage or home.

During the summer time, keep your sunroof and windows closed when you park your car.

If you’re parking on the street, Szymborski recommends putting your car under some sort of lighting.

You can also keep an eye out for suspicious activity, including people testing car door handles, looking into cars, driving slowly and aimlessly through neighborhoods, as well as being alert to sounds of breaking glass or car alarms.

“If you see something, say something,” Szymborski said.

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