Washoe County Sheriff’s Office offers tips to avoid being a victim of vehicle burglary 

Vehicle burglaries historically rise in the warmer Spring and Summer months. Luckily, you can easily reduce the risk of your vehicle being burglarized by following these simple suggestions.

Lock your doors and roll up your windows. This may sound obvious, but most of our recorded auto burglaries are due to unlocked doors. Becoming more conscious of making sure your vehicles doors are always locked is vital. Criminals are opportunistic and are always looking for an easy target like an unlocked car. A common criminal tactic is to casually walk through parking lots or neighborhoods simply pulling on car handles to see which ones are unlocked. These are called “crimes of opportunity.” Don’t let your vehicle be the easy target that criminals look for.

Don’t leave valuables in your car. Most auto-burglaries have one common denominator -— the vehicles have something valuable inside them worth stealing. If possible, remove all valuables and all resemblance of valuables from your vehicle every time you exit your vehicle.

Hide or lock valuables away. Place all items out of plain view before you find your parking space. You never know who is watching you.

Lock items in areas like your glove box or trunk instead of simply throwing the item under a seat or under a jacket.

Plan shopping trips so you don’t unload bags full of valuables into your car and head back into the mall or shopping center. Try not to do this until you are ready to drive your vehicle to another destination.

Set your car-alarm or anti-theft device if you have one. Look into getting a car alarm if you don’t. Criminals like to remain inconspicuous and under the radar. A loud audible alarm accompanied by flashing lights may be just enough to scare off a criminal before he takes any valuables.

Park safely. Where you park your vehicle can sometimes mean the difference between being burglarized and not. When possible, park your vehicle in well-lit, crowded areas. Look for a well-lit area nearest to the store, hotel, or building you are entering.

Remember, it takes a thief 30 seconds to break into your vehicle and steal your valuables. It only takes you 30 seconds to take your valuables with you or lock them in your trunk.

Additional safety information is available at www.WashoeSheriff.com.