WJAC-TV: Preventing Vehicle Burglaries

CLEARFIELD – During the holidays, people are known to carry more money and to have valuables inside their vehicles. They are also known to be in a very vulnerable state of mind. And, according to police, this makes people an easy burglar target.

“It’s the holiday season. People are out and they might be leaving their vehicles open when they shouldn’t be. You know, everyone is a little more trusting this time of the year,” said Chief Vincent McGinnis of the Clearfield Borough Police Department.

Unfortunately, that trust can quickly turn into betrayal if you’re not careful. During the holiday season, there’s a spike in vehicle burglaries, because people forget to hide valuables and lock their vehicles, police said.

Clearfield police said there isn’t an increase in physical altercations during the holidays. However, they notice increases in thefts from vehicles, while consumers are inside a mall or store shopping. Police said people tend to park their vehicle, enter the store focused on their shopping list and forget the basic safety concerns.

Often, these burglaries are not by forcible entry; most times it’s much easier for the burglar, as someone forgets to lock their unattended vehicle. Once inside it becomes a place of opportunity for burglars, police said.

“Their vehicles are being entered. They’re removing property and then pawning that property off,” said McGinnis.

So in order to keep the holiday season bright, police would like to advise people to “be smart.” Police offered the following tips:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Keep valuables, such as GPS systems, cellular phones and chargers, money, etc. out of sight.
  • Shop with someone if possible
  • Keep your keys in hand when walking to your vehicle at nighttime.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock your vehicle.
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