The Peoria Police Department is reminding residents to lock their vehicle doors to prevent burglaries.
Peoria Public Information Officer Amy Dotson said the majority of car burglaries occur from vehicles that are left unlocked.
“A lot of times vehicle burglaries are a crime of opportunity. And there are people that will walk this city, doesn’t matter where, residential areas, business areas, shopping areas, and just simply try door handles. And if it’s unlocked, then it’s jackpot for whatever you’ve got inside,” Dotson said.
There are cases of vehicle windows smashed and items stolen, however those occur when an object of value is left in plain sight.
“Laptops, cell phones, wallets, purses, anything that’s of value, something that can be easily concealed upon a thief so they can quickly sell it,” Dotson said.
However, Dotson said stolen items that were concealed, were because of an unlocked vehicle.
Consider what is left inside your vehicle, “Such as your garage door opener,” Dotson said. “So there’s a lot of opportunities to unlocked vehicles”.
A burglary prevention suggestion is to park in a well lit area.
“A thief doesn’t want to be seen,” Dotson said.
Spare keys should also not be left in vehicles.
“A vehicle burglary, can easily turn into a vehicle theft,” Dotson said.
Dotson also said the police want residents to report any suspicious behavior, an attempted vehicle burglary, and if a resident discovers items missing from their vehicle.
“I understand crime has been committed, and the thief is long gone. But if you don’t tell us about attempts, or vehicle burglaries that have happened, even if nothing was taken, or if something you deem small was taken,” Dotson said. “If you let us know, we can determine if there is an established pattern in a certain neighborhood”.