SANFORD — Police in Sanford are advising residents with vehicles to lock them up or risk losing anything left inside.

Since the first of the year, residents have reported 24 vehicle burglaries in Sanford, said Deputy Police Chief Tim Strout. That works out to about one every couple of days.

Strout said the break-ins have taken place all over the city, with most in the downtown core area.

He said in general, the burglaries involve vehicles left unlocked.

Police have responded by increasing their presence in the residential areas and shopping plazas.

What are the burglars taking?

Spare change and more — including wallets and laptops. “If they can carry it, they will take it,” the deputy police chief said.

“Motor vehicles burglaries are primarily crimes of opportunity, it takes less than a minute to enter a vehicle and remove items from inside,” said Strout.

His advice is to lock your vehicle, don’t leave anything of value inside, and if you can’t remove it, hide it.

Those in the insurance industry recommend activating a vehicle security system if you have one, parking in a well lit area, and, make sure items like phones, purses and wallets, laptops, briefcases, shopping bags, and other other items are out of the vehicle — or at least, out of view. As well, according to the insurance company Nationwide, people should not use the obvious places like a console or glove box as a hiding place for valuables.

So far, there have been no arrests associated with the burglaries.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

 

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