Vehicle break-ins remain a stubbornly common issue within Maryland and Virginia, police said.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, police said there were nearly 4,400 thefts from vehicles last year. In Prince George’s County, there were over 4,000.
Police in Arlington, Virginia, reported over 1,500 cases of thefts from vehicles, or tampering.
“It’s a crime of opportunity, and we can bring those numbers down by taking precautions,” said Lt. Harkirat Singh with Prince George’s County police.
Those precautions include locking car doors and moving valuables out of sight or out of the car.
“If a thief observes something in his plain view that he can quickly steal, then that’s when the crime takes place,” Singh said.
Singh also mentioned many of the cases involve a window simply being bashed in. He also said common items taken include phones, GPS devices, tools and laptops.
“Our goal is to share the information with the community, to let them know that this is happening, and basically keep sharing the safety tips,” Singh said.
Just this week, Prince George’s County police reported 16 thefts from vehicles on Tuesday.
Fairfax County saw nearly 2,700 thefts from vehicles last year.