How to avoid car thieves during holiday shopping
Police are on the lookout for thieves during the holiday shopping season.
They say this time of year, criminals often target cars stuffed with shopping bags.
“We want to get the message out to our citizens and the people that come and shop in our community that we want them to take steps to help protect themselves,” Lt. Williams, of Mishawaka Police said.
Williams says he also wants citizens to protect their cars.
“When we go out and shop and leave all these things in our car, it provides an opportunity for someone to take it from us,” Williams said.
According to police logs, a few thefts from cars have already happened over the weekend around the Grape Road area.
However, Williams says these types of crimes are not limited to shopping complexes.
Like last year, the thieves could be intercepting your key fob signals to break in.
“We’re talking about technology. So the bottom line is when it comes to locking your car, if you’re going to go shopping, do it manually so that code’s not being sent out,” Williams said.
Before even locking the car, police recommends keeping your shopping bags out of sight.
If you are doing all of your shopping in one big trip, they recommend you have a friend run your gifts home for you.
Williams says it’s best to report anything suspicious to police, including people looking into multiple cars.
“Try to get us a description of what they look like, what kind of clothing they’re wearing,” Williams said.
The most important advice he says, is to be mindful.
“Let’s be vigilant. Let’s make sure we know what’s going on around us,” Williams said.
Police say car thefts also go up this time of year because people leave their cars on to warm them up.
Williams recommends staying in or near the car while doing so to protect it.