Take, Lock, Hide. The basic crime fighting tool to preventing Car Burglaries.
• Lock your vehicle. Yes, it takes seconds to break a window, but
doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise. Also,
officers report that in many instances where a victim left their vehicle
unlocked (to prevent windows from being broken); the suspect broke
the window anyway, expecting the vehicle to be locked.
• Hide valuables from sight, or, even better, take items with you. If a
criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will
go to the next vehicle and window shop. Remember to hide
valuables BEFORE you park in the place you’re leaving your vehicle. If a criminal sees you put a laptop in the trunk, they’ll just break into
the trunk when you leave. Same advice for putting property under a
seat. If a criminal sees you reaching under a seat, they’ll assume
something is under there, and break in, looking for property.
• Park in areas that are not secluded. Well lit parking lots, with good
“sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general
public. Attended parking lots, monitored by uniformed or easily
identifiable legitimate parking attendants, are ideal. Remember,
criminals don’t like witnesses.
• After market car stereos; consider models with removable
faceplates. Take the faceplate with you when your leave your
• Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your
vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to
pawn, will be identified.
Remember, there is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can
make yourself less likely to be a victim of a Car Burglary by following the above tips, and by using common sense. Simply locking your vehicle and removing
property from inside is half the battle.
If you see something suspicious (people checking door handles, looking in vehicles, wandering parking lots or neighborhoods, etc.) you should call the police department at (908) 852-3300 or dial 9-1-1 if there is an emergency. Please try and take note of any vehicles, license plates, etc. that are associated with the suspicious person(s) and also take note of their physical description (gender, height, weight, hair color, etc.) and the clothing they are wearing.
Questions about this article can be directed to Ptl. Smith via email
or contact Hackettstown Police Dept. at (908) 852-3302.