Crescent City police notified residents Monday via social media that officers have noticed an increase in burglaries from vehicles.
The release said thieves have been breaking vehicle windows and breaking into doors.
“The perpetrators are taking any items they see, such as money in the cupholders, computers, cell phones, chargers, assorted clothing and about anything else you can leave in your car,” the notice said.
Police Chief Ivan Minsal said three such burglaries have been reported in recent weeks and warned people not to leave things visible inside a vehicle.
“It just gives an opportunity to an opportunist,” Minsal said. “These crimes take about 30 seconds, the perpetrators are very hard to catch and the stolen items are hard to recover.”
Minsal said many of the items typically stolen are not traceable.
“People don’t write down the serial numbers on these things,” he said.
Minsal said all the crimes occurred because someone looked in a window, saw something of value and broke in.
Locations for the thefts have been sporadic, Minsal said, with some happening downtown in the morning hours and others happening in the northern areas of Crescent City.
“We’re patrolling those areas and trying to be more proactive in anticipating when it will happen,” he said, “but it can be a shot in the dark.”
Minsal said it’s important to communicate with law enforcement when something is suspicious or out of place.
“We want that,” he said. “It sends a message and it prevents crime.”
Minsal said when officers get a call, they come out and contact or make note of the suspicious person.
“We ID them and they get the message that people are watching them and that this is not acceptable in our community,” he said.
While a suspicious person or activity may seem a low priority, Minsal stressed citizens should call 911 to report it, rather than the police department or dispatch.
“Those are 911 calls,” he said.