DEARBORN – Theft of items from vehicles is a common crime – one that motorists can help fight by not leaving items of value in plain view – everything from briefcases and purses to GPS navigation units, iPods, mp3 players and laptop computers, police officials said.
This type of crime is not limited to just parking lots in shopping areas – even vehicles parked on residential streets can become targets.
Dearborn police urge motorists to keep any valuables out of sight whenever leaving their vehicles – lock them up in the trunk or stow them in the glove compartment or other non-visible spot. They also urge motorists to always lock their vehicle whenever they leave it, even if it’s just for a few moments.
A similar crime – not yet seen in Dearborn but one that is emerging as a trend in other area communities – is when thieves break into a vehicle and steal the home garage door opener, along with the vehicle registration or Global Positioning System unit. Using the registration or GPS unit to identify the vehicle owner’s home address, the thieves go to the home and gain entry to it by using the garage door opener.
Another level of safety is to remove the garage door opener and anything with an address on it (such as a car registration or GPS unit) whenever leaving the vehicle.
The Police Department has increased patrols in the city’s neighborhoods and increased its use of plainclothes surveillance officers – the latter being funded by a grant award. These steps, along with Neighborhood Watch, have assisted in deterring vehicle larcenies, as well as leading to the apprehension of individuals suspected of this type of offense.