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Police: Car break-ins on the rise in Berea

BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - Berea police say the number of car break-ins go up with the temperatures this time every year.

They say in the past two weeks burglars have hit eight to nine cars.

"We don't want to make it easy for these people," said Sgt. Jake Reed.

He says many people become easy targets when they leave their car doors unlocked.

"There are a lot of people committing these thefts and they'll go pull door handles and hope that a vehicle is unlocked," Reed said.

He says the person looking for easy access to the car is also hoping there's something inside worth stealing.

"Things like check books, purses, mobile phones, medication cash, these are all things we're seeing people leave in the vehicle.”

According to police, the break-ins have been scattered across the city and most of them happened after the sun set. However, Reed tells us that doesn't mean you should let your guard down during the day.

"People will jump out of the vehicle and go to a yard sale and don't think to lock the vehicle. They'll leave cash or a purse and we've actually seen people going to yard sales and having their vehicles broken into,” he said.

Police are stepping up their night patrols in neighborhoods, hoping to catch the burglars before they break in, according to Reed.

Here are some tips to prevent car break-ins, courtesy of the FBI, the National Crime Prevention Institute, the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute and www.ehow.com.

•Park your car in an area that is well-lit and near lots of people.

•Keep the windows rolled up and the car locked, even if it's parked at your own house.

•Keep valuables in your car hidden. Consider buying a removable stereo face to keep in your trunk or carry with you.

•Consider buying a visible mechanical locking device to lock the steering wheel, and/or an auto theft alarm system.

•Install locking lug nuts to prevent your custom wheels or externally mounted spare tire from being stolen.

•Keep your car registration and insurance card with you instead of in the glove compartment so that thieves cannot produce these documents if stopped by police.

•Disconnect either the battery or the coil wire from the distributor cap if you have to leave your car unattended for an extended period of time. Car thieves will often not have the time or the desire to diagnose why the car won't start.

•Take your ignition keys to a locksmith or car dealer to remove the key number, which thieves can use to have the keys duplicated (jot down the number for your records first).

•Etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the doors and fenders of your car with an electric engraver for extra protection. This helps to discourage professional car thieves, who will have to remove the markings to resell the car.


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