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111th warns of rise in car thefts, offers tips to prevent break-ins

111th Precinct
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Kelsey Durham

The 111th Precinct in Bayside said it has seen a significant increase in car thefts in recent weeks and is asking the public to be conscious of things that may help prevent them from becoming targets.

Neighborhoods in northeast Queens, stretching from Northern Boulevard to 35th Avenue, boxed in between Bell Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway, have reported multiple stolen vehicles, according to the 111th. Areas as far west as the Clearview Expressway have also been targeted by people breaking into cars and stealing valuables from inside, such as cash and electronics.

Police were asking residents to be aware of the trend and have posted fliers throughout the area, offering tips for keeping property safe. Officers were warning the public to never leave valuable items in cars, including wallets, laptops, cellphones or other electronic devices that attract thieves.

Police also said car thieves choose vehicles that are left running with keys in the ignition, which commonly happens around delis, coffee shops and grocery stores as drivers enter the spots for quick stops. Leaving a spare key inside the car also contributes to theft, according to police.

Other tips such as locking doors and windows, activating car alarms and parking in well-lit areas may also help prevent theft, the precinct said.

Anyone who spots a suspicious person or activity is asked to call 911.

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurham@cnglocal.com.

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