INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — In the last three months of 2011, there were 26 reported vehicle burglaries in the Incline Village area, Washoe County Sheriff's Office officials said Friday.
"Even in a big city, 26 burglaries in three months are unacceptable, but in an area such as Incline Village, it is definitely a matter for concern,” officers said in a press release.
According to the sheriff's office, crime statistics data trends show most of the burglaries occurred in vehicles left unlocked.
“Basically, these burglaries could have been easily prevented if the vehicles had been locked,” said Deputy Armando Avina in a statement. “Criminals are using these unlocked vehicles as their own personal slot machines.”
Avina stressed that vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity — criminals look for easy targets such as unlocked cars or valuables left in plain sight.
Burglaries of unlocked cars are also harder for authorities to investigate, Avina said, because there is typically little or no evidence left behind to provide leads.
“As much as we would all like to believe that we will never be victims of a burglary, this is something we cannot predict,” Avina said. “But, we can take steps to help prevent it from happening. One important step, based on recent data, is to take the extra moment to lock our vehicles and residences.”
• Lock the door when leaving the car.
• Don't leave valuables in the car. If valuables must be left in a vehicle, be sure to lock them in the trunk or glove compartment, not under jackets or blankets behind the seat, as that is one of the first places criminals look.
• If you need to leave valuable items in a vehicle, place them out of sight before reaching your destination.
• Leave no trace. Don't leave any sign that there might be valuables hidden in a vehicle by leaving items such as cellphone docking stations or connector cables visible. Leave nothing in plain sight that might make the vehicle a target for thieves, not even loose coins or a CD.
• Be sure to set the car alarm or anti-theft devices. These are still effective deterrents against criminals who are looking for the easiest target.
• Keep windows completely closed. Partially open windows may make your vehicle an easier target for thieves.
— Source: WCSO