Thieves target unlocked cars

Niskayuna police are urging residents to lock their car doors and bring valuable items with them when leaving their cars unattended because in recent months, officers have seen an increase of car break-ins and larcenies.

I would say that over the last couple of months, there have been quite a few reported larcenies from vehicles, said Detective Sgt. Daniel McManus.

He said that most of the cars that had items missing from them were left unlocked and were not inside garages. He said he believes there have only been three incidences where cars were actually broken into and property was damaged.

"A lot of unlocked vehicles have been gone through, and a lot of valuables have been taken, from loose change to GPS units to laptops to radar detectors," said McManus. "We're just urging town residents to take the valuables out of their cars or at least put them out of site."

McManus said there tends to be more car burglaries in the summer months, but this summer, thieves have been especially busy.

"A lot of kids are looking for change and that kind of thing, but it's definitely a marked increase this year, and not just in Niskayuna but around the Capital District," said McManus.

He said that the burglars tend to be looking for any valuables they can find, including wallets, credit cards, purses, iPhones and iPods.

"Anything that can be either used or sold," said McManus.

The crime isn't focused in one area; the thefts are occurring all over Niskayuna, mostly after dark.

"It's not like one specific neighborhood is being targeted. In all of our neighborhoods, at one point or another, you'll find some area within it that's been hit," said McManus.

He said that many victims have said that it was the first time they left their cars unlocked, but McManus said it doesn't matter whether it is the first or 100th time, people must be diligent about locking up their personal belongings.

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