Help Combat the Rise in Vehicle Related Thefts
Over the past several weeks, the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police has received numerous reports of thefts from vehicles, as well as stolen vehicles in the area. To help community members, we would like to share some background about how thieves target their victims and commit vehicle related thefts.
Nighttime Vehicle Break-ins
- Often occur in the early morning hours between 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM, when most victims are sleeping.
- Thieves commonly walk around residential neighborhoods or apartment complexes, pulling on vehicle door handles in search of unlocked vehicles.
- Thieves commonly look for small items of value like purses or wallets, credit cards, loose change or cash, and other valuables that are easily carried away on foot.
- Most stolen vehicles occur because the vehicle was left unlocked with the key fob (wireless vehicle key) inside. Even if the key fob is hidden inside the vehicle, a thief just needs to sit down, press the brake and push the ignition, and away they go!
Daytime Vehicle Break-ins
- These types of thefts often occur in the parking lots of shopping centers, fitness centers or gyms, recreational parks, and daycare centers.
- Thieves often will park and wait in the area to watch potential victims exit and walk away from their vehicles.
- Females tend to be targeted the most because they are known to keep valuables in their handbags and purses, which commonly are left on a car seat or floorboard of the vehicle.
- Even if the vehicle is locked, thieves will break the vehicle's window and take the items left in plain view in seconds.
- Often taken are cash, credit cards, checkbooks, and ID cards which can lead to other issues such as check/credit card fraud or identity theft.
What To Do
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicles, such as cash, credit cards, checkbooks, ID cards, or the key to the vehicle.
- If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, place them out of view or in the trunk.
- Lock your vehicle even if it’s on your property or in your driveway.
- Do not hesitate to call 911 if you see suspicious activity. And no, don’t tell the thief you called us - we want it to be a surprise. Don’t spoil the party!
The Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police strives to prevent these crimes from occurring with proactive patrol, but the unfortunate truth is that we cannot catch them all. These incidents tend to be crimes of opportunity. If you don’t give them the opportunity, then it likely won’t happen. Just because you live in a quiet and nice neighborhood doesn’t mean a thief can’t come to visit unannounced. Thieves are drawn to the location where they are likely to have an easier time getting what they want. Help us make it difficult and keep them from wanting to come back!