Grand Island police say more than 100 thefts from vehicles have been reported since July 24. Now officials are advising residents on ways to avoid falling victim to vehicle theft.
Officials say keeping your vehicle clear of all valuables is one of the easiest ways to avoid having your belongings stolen. The Grand Island Police Department says may criminals find many types of property in parked vehicles, including laptop computers, cell phones, GPS devices, stereo systems, purses and wallets and many other items.
The officers say it takes only a minute to break a window or unlock the door to take any of these items, making it "easy shopping" for thieves. They say there are oftentimes no witnesses because of the speed and ease of these crimes.
Officers also say thieves often target vehicles parked in secluded or dark areas, so they advise avoiding these areas when parking anywhere.
Police also suggest recording serial numbers found on merchandise. Police have a better chance of locating stolen items with this information or if the merchandise is marked in some way.
Grand Island pawn shops must record the name of the person pawning merchandise which could lead to the thieves identity if the merchandise can be identified as stolen property.
According to GIPD, at least 65 of the 103 thefts reported in the last 60 days occurred in vehicles that were unlocked or had open windows. That is why officials also say owners should leave their vehicles locked at all times, and whenever possible, parked in a locked garage.