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The original item was published from 3/17/2016 10:26:22 AM to 4/18/2016 12:00:04 AM.

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Sheriff's Office - Linn County, IA

Posted on: March 17, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Linn County Sheriff's Office - Tips for Preventing Car Burglaries

Each year thousands of Iowa residents fall victims to car burglaries. Although there is no absolute guarantee to prevent this from happening to you, there are several preventative measures we can take to greatly reduce the chances of your vehicle becoming a target.

• Lock Your Doors And Keep The Windows Up
To many of us this seems to be a routine habit; however a very high percentage of car burglaries occurring in Linn County are with unlocked vehicles. Even a “quick stop” at a convenience store is sometimes too long. Simply walking by your vehicle a thief can easily see what you have on the seats and if the car is unlocked, you’ve made it very easy for them.

• Keep Your Vehicle Tidy
Even items you know are worthless will sometimes seem appealing to a thief. The thief doesn’t know the shopping bag in the back seat contains an old pair of shoes. To the thief this shopping bag could contain something very valuable and they may be prompted to do whatever it takes to get that bag, such as break the window.

• Never Leave Valuables In The Vehicle
Favorite targets for thieves are purses, wallets, laptops, cellular phones, and briefcases. Leaving these items in a vehicle for an extended time is merely “baiting” thieves to your vehicle.

• Choose Your Parking Spot
In public parking lots, select a spot that is close to the building and well lit. While parking in an isolated spot may reduce door dings, it also attracts thieves. Also, if you are going to multiple stores, get in the habit of placing your shopping bags in the trunk right upon returning to your vehicle. Waiting to place these items in the trunk when you’ve parked at the new destination only advertises to the thieves lingering in the parking lot.

And remember, always report suspicious persons wandering around a parking lot or neighborhood to the local authorities.

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