The Tampa Police Department wants residents to follow a few tips to avoid car break-ins.
Below is some information from Maryanne Hunsberger, crime prevention practitioner with the Tampa Police Department:
No neighborhood is immune from car break-ins. It happens in all communities. Most often, car break-ins occur during the early morning hours when the risk of discovery is low. Persons who commit these types of crimes can be juveniles on a dare, or addicts desperate for something to trade or pawn to support their habits.
- Secure your vehicle safely in the garage, or park your vehicle as close to the residence/business as possible. If you park on the street, park in an area with good visibility and lighting. Report lighting/security problems to your landlord or property manager.
- Do not leave anything in your vehicle that would tempt somebody to break in. Remove valuables or secure them out of sight in your trunk.
- If your car stereo has a removable faceplate, remove it. Do not leave CDs in the car.
- Lock your car doors. Some thieves go from car to car trying doors. Chances are they will simply move on to the next car.
- Do not confront the suspect. Do not compromise your safety. If you are in a car, flashing your high beams or honking your horn is enough to alert him of your presence. People will likely not commit crime when they know someone is watching.
- By locking your car doors your are target hardening your vehicle – criminals are looking for easy access – don’ t make your vehicle a “crime of opportunity."
- Call (813) 231-6130 to report car break-ins (after the fact) to Tampa Police Department. If you rent, also report the incident to the property manager. Someone else may have seen or heard something.
- Call 9-1-1 for crimes in progress. Be prepared to give description of the person(s), vehicle, and license plate number.