Kauai police are warning the public about a rise in vehicle burglaries, specifically in the Lihue area, and are urging all residents and businesses to be vigilant in preventing property crime and helping to locate suspects.
According to police, there were 39 reports of Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle in the Lihue area from October 2018 to January 2019.
“Unfortunately, a spike in burglaries and thefts are occurring with a large majority of vehicles being left unlocked with valuables inside,” said Acting Chief of Police Michael Contrades. “Our officers are working hard to investigate these crimes and hold those accountable, while encouraging the community to follow practical tips to help reduce their chances of becoming a victim.”
KPD is offering the following vehicle crime prevention tips:
· Lock your doors at all times: Lock your doors even when you’re at home or stepping away from your vehicle for a short time. Simply locking your doors will deter those who might just be waiting around for an easy target.
· Completely close windows and sunroofs: An open window or sunroof can make it easier for thieves to reach in and unlock your door, but it can also disable the pressure sensor in some car alarms. Leaving windows and sunroofs open leaves your vehicle more vulnerable to break-ins and could potentially give thieves additional time before the alarm sounds.
· Park for visibility: Park in a busy, well-lit area, and avoid concealment from larger vehicles, fences, or foliage. The more visible your car is to the public, the lower your chances are that a potential thief will attempt to break in.
· Remove all valuables from your vehicle: Take your valuables with you instead of leaving them in your parked vehicle. If your items are visible, it dramatically increases the likelihood that a thief will target your vehicle. Visible items will draw attention.
· Keep it tidy: Almost any personal item that’s visible from the outside, even an empty shopping bag, could be seen as a valuable or a carrier of valuables. If you have a wagon or SUV that leaves your cargo area on display, consider getting a cover. Most of these vehicles can be fitted with inexpensive retractable covers to help keep shopping bags or other belongings out of sight.
· Vehicle alarms: Car alarms are a protective measure that is reasonably hard to disable. Advertise the vehicle alarm sticker on your vehicle window, to deter a potential thief from targeting you.
· Window tint: Consider legal window tinting, as it obscures the view into the vehicle and makes it less likely for a thief to infiltrate.
· Report suspicious vehicles or subjects in your area: If you see a suspicious vehicle or subject in your area, possibly casing a vehicle, immediately report it to police. You might be responsible for preventing a crime.
“Community involvement is a crucial element to solving and preventing property crimes,” added Acting Chief Contrades. “By working together to hold those responsible for these crimes and taking preventative measures, we can reverse these rising trends in vehicle break-ins.”
Anyone with information on a recent theft is urged to call Kauai Police immediately at 241-1711. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers Kauai at 246-8300.