Unlocked Cars Account For More Than 75 Percent Of Thefts From Vehicles

Montgomery County police carIn November, 74 of the 96 vehicles involved in thefts from cars in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Police District were unlocked, according to 2nd District Police Commander Capt. David Falcinelli.

The nearly 100 thefts from vehicles in November was the highest monthly total this year in the District, Falcinelli said. For the first half of the year, thefts from vehicles were one of the few crimes that increased compared to the same period of time in 2012. Police recorded a 20 percent drop in robberies, 20 percent drop in aggravated assaults and 23 percent drop in residential burglaries.

But the thefts from vehicles continue to be a problem, one that typically gets worse during holiday shopping season.

“When you shop, hide your items in the trunk and take them immediately into your home,” Falcinelli wrote in a crime update last week. “This is a very prevalent crime this time of year and thieves will generally ignore a locked car with nothing worth stealing visible and move on to the unlocked one.”

Falcinelli also warned of a recent phone scam in which someone claims to be a police officer and asks for money so the victim can avoid arrest. A second scam is someone “from a utility company threatening to cut off power unless you wire cash immediately.”

The Montgomery County Police Department does not solicit money. Be sure to ask for company and contact information if you are unsure of a caller.

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