Carmel police issued a warning for holiday shoppers Friday, after receiving multiple reports of thieves stealing from parked cars in Hamilton County. And with the holiday shopping season getting underway, police say it’s a warning you need to take seriously.
“(People) think ‘I’m just going to be out of my vehicle for a couple of minutes, I’m going to leave it running, or leave it unlocked’ and that’s when people are taken advantage of,” said Carmel police Lt. Joe Bickel.
Carmel police said one of the break-ins happened at the L.A. Fitness on Michigan, with other thefts reported at local daycares in the area. Noblesville police also reported three similar incidents this week involving thefts from parked cars.
“Vehicles have been left unlocked, and the valuables inside like purses and wallets are easy access for criminals,” said Bickel.
“I’m not sure why people don’t do it, but we think it’s important to lock our doors so nobody takes our stuff,” said shopper Miranda Lindeman.
And with more people out shopping for the holidays, police said it’s advice that’s more important than ever.
“A lot of times people are in a hurry, they’re trying to get from one place to another,” said Bickel. “They forget about taking the simple steps of locking their doors.”
“I try and park under a light and I always lock the car and I try to park where I’m close to the doors,” said shopper Ann Broecker. “I know I’m calling my girls and saying be careful. Hopefully they will be.”
In the warning sent to residents, police remind you to keep valuables and packages out of plain sight, including:
• Purses or Wallets
• Cell Phone and Cords
• Electronic Devices (GPS Units, IPADs, etc)
• CD’s, Car Keys, etc
• Radar Detectors and Cords
• Loose Change/Cash
Police also made the following recommendations:
• Always park in well-lighted high traffic areas.
• Utilize a car alarm.
• Completely close your car windows when parking. Don’t make it easy for a thief to gain entry.
• If you have a garage use it.
• When parking in your garage, lock the garage door and your vehicle; by locking both the chances of deterring a crime greatly improve.
• Remind friends and family to remove valuables from their vehicles.
As always, police ask any suspicious activity be reported to authorities right away.