Here is a mental image I first pictured quite a few years ago when I first started covering crime.
A guy, possibly an addict, walks down a street at night, trying the door handle on each car he passes to see if the car is unlocked. If the car is unlocked, he checks to see what is inside.
Think that’s just my imagination?
Lowell Police say there were 258 car breaks in Lowell between the first of the year and May 13. Of those, 132, or 51 percent, involved cars that were left unlocked.
“It is much easier for a suspect to wander the neighborhood undetected looking for unlocked vehicles that they can enter and rummage through looking for valuables,” Capt. Kelly Richardson wrote in a prepared statement.
Police sent out a press release this week to remind everyone in Lowell to lock their cars – harden their targets, and also to avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.
Those who commit car breaks will occasionally use force to break a window and enter a car, but most of the time they will only do so if they spot valuables inside a car, whether it be change, a GPS, or other electronics.
Police are also encouraging residents to never leave valuables in plain sight inside their cars.
“The culprits will only take the risk of detection by smashing a window if the risk of detection is outweighed by the value of the property in plain view, such as iPads, laptops, GPS units, etc.,” Richardson wrote.
As always, police encourage everyone to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, and to call them if you see something out of the ordinary. Police will be glad to do the work for you to figure out whether things are amiss.
Lowell Police can be reached at 978.937.3200.