The commander of the 107th Precinct warned residents to be mindful of leaving valuables in their cars, especially during the hectic holiday shopping season.
During the 107th Precinct Community Council meeting in Fresh Meadows on Tuesday night, Deputy Inspector Paul Valerga reported an increase in vehicle break-ins.
“We’re basically flat on crime for the year,” Valerga said. “Our robbery levels have never been this low … But we still need to focus on a couple of things.”
Valerga urged attendees not to leave valuables in their cars, especially in the plain view of anyone that may pass by.
“People leaving their wallets and their pocketbooks in their cars is an epidemic in this command right now,” Valerga said. “Please get this message out: it doesn’t matter how long that you leave your car unattended for … Everyone needs to stop leaving items in their car.”
More so, Valerga also warned residents to remember to make sure that their car doors are locked whenever they leave their vehicles. During a recent visit to the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center parking lot, he and other members of the command found that too many drivers failed to properly secure their vehicles and valuables.
“We found three phones in plain view inside of vehicles inside Kohl’s shopping center,” Valerga said. “We also found five unlocked doors.”
Valerga reminded attendees to always double check that their car doors are locked before walking away from them.
“It doesn’t matter where you are; it doesn’t matter how long you’re gonna be,” Valerga continued. “People are watching. And, unfortunately, it’s the bad guys that are watching.”
With the holiday season fast approaching, Valerga urged residents to always remember to take their valuables into the store with them and to always stay aware of their surroundings.
“Right now, with Black Friday coming up, everyone: your focus is not going to be on what’s inside your car; it’s going to be on getting the things you need,” Valerga closed. “This is a chaotic time of year, and unfortunately this is the time of the year that the bad guys love the most.”