‘Common sense’ steps can prevent thefts from cars this holiday season

Virginia Beach police say "common sense" moves can help prevent thefts from cars this holiday season.

Soon parking lots around Hampton Roads will be jam-packed with eager customers ready to find that perfect holiday gift.  Police say the thieves will also be ready.

“Car larcenies from unlocked vehicles is our number one crime in the city of Virginia Beach,” said Sergeant Brian Walters.

Car break-ins have been on the rise over the past few years in Virginia Beach.  In 2015 there were more than 3,300, and last year that number rose to 3,500.

“It definitely is a crime of opportunity and it is 100 percent preventable by simply locking your car,” Walters added.  “Larceny from an unlocked vehicle is not a victim-less crime.  I think most of the folks that are victimized that way, they feel it right to the core.”

Walters says the simple solution is to lock you door.  For extra measure, when you start shopping this year, move your gifts to your trunk.

“If you leave them in the front seat of your vehicle, whether it is locked or not, somebody may take the time to bust your window and take that item,” Walters said.  “You really need to store those items out of sight.”

Police also stress the importance of not leaving key fobs or spare keys in the car, because the thieves will take the car.

“It’s very simple,” Walters added.  “We’ve been doing this messaging for two years. I would like to say it is common sense, but sometimes common sense isn’t so common.”