Lock it or lose it as car break ins are on the rise

As the temperature warms up, so do the number of car burglaries, according to police.
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Police across the Stateline warn drivers about keeping your valuables safe as more people are outside this summer.

Car break ins are a common crime Loves Park police deal with and they can happen at any point during the day. When it’s light out, high parking areas such as parks, gyms, and shopping centers are some of the main targets for thieves. Once the sun sets, they move into residential neighborhoods.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” said Loves Park Police Sergeant Brian Martin. “They’re there and they find something they don’t expect to find.”

Phones, wallets, purses, and lose change are common items stolen from cars. Police said those items are left out in the open, and those items should be put away or left at home, especially garage door openers.

“You definitely don’t want to leave [them] in your car because not only are they in your car now they have access to your garage which if you have an attached garage means they have access to your house,” said Belvidere Police Sergeant Shane Polnow.

According to the Rockford Police Department’s May crime stats, auto thefts rose 39% compared to this point last year. There were 136 thefts through May 2020 and 189 thefts between January and May 2021. Belvidere Police’s 2020 Annual Report showed 43 burglaries from a motor vehicle in 2020.

Police advise everyone to stay alert, and if you see someone acting suspiciously or committing a crime to any vehicle, call 911. In addition, they urge the community to get their best descriptions of the people breaking into cars and of the vehicle itself including the license plate number.

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