Thieves targeting cars for valuables in the middle of the night, Flushing-based precinct says

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Flushing, Whitestone and College Point residents were given a series of tips to use to deter thieves from rummaging through their cars in the early hours of morning.

Inspector Judith Harrison, commanding officer of the 109th Precinct, alerted attendees at the Oct. 11 Community Council meeting about an uptick in perpetrators with their eyes out for valuables in vehicles parked on streets, lots and residential driveways.

“They take whatever you have in your car — and they’re very persistent,” Harrison said.

The commanding officer said an alarming number of residents leave valuables, especially their wallets, bags and purses, in their cars. Thieves also look for laptops, cell phones, GPS devices, charging cords and even loose change. No matter how long you will be away from your vehicle, Harrison said, take your belongings with you.

The problem is exacerbated by car owners forgetting to activate their car alarms, the inspector continued. Car alarms should always be activated and vehicles should be parked in well-lit and highly trafficked areas, which deters thieves.

The same people who pull on car door handles are likely to try opening home or garage doors, so ensure these are always locked too, Harrison also said.

“Get an alarm system — to protect your home, to protect your vehicles,” the commanding officer said.

Harrison also suggested installing video cameras on private property, which may also serve as a deterrent, if it is financially feasible.

Any incidents of theft should be reported to your local police precinct.