Theft from vehicles spikes again in North Platte during the summer months

The month of July is vehicle theft prevention month and fortunately, in Greater Nebraska, vehicle thefts are not too common.

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The month of July is vehicle theft prevention month and fortunately, in Greater Nebraska, vehicle thefts are not too common. However, the same can not be said for theft from within vehicles, especially during the summer months, according to Officer Rory Little, Public Information Officer with the City of North Platte Police Department.

“It’s not usually that they are breaking into cars but it’s more crimes of opportunity with people leaving their cars unlocked, so it’s just easy access. They could be looking for loose change, they could see something valuable inside and just check the car door to see if may have been left unlocked just to get access to it,” Officer Little said.

Officer Little recommends not keeping valuable items in your car, but if you must keep them out of sight. Also, something as simple as keeping car doors locked can make a major difference.

“So, if your parking your car definitely lock it, if you are parking them along the roadway at night park them somewhere that is well-lit or that is easily viewable to not just yourself but anybody that is driving along the road. So, if somebody is checking car doors and just walking down, somebody can see it and report suspicious activity to the police department. If you do have access to a driveway make sure that you pull close enough that it is close to your house, people are less likely to go that far in,” said Officer Little.

Officer Little adds that something as simple as motion-detected lighting can also be a favorable factor. “If you have motion-activated lighting, or camera systems, that helps a lot too. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help out and give us access to their cameras to help a neighbor,” said Officer Little.

Below are additional tips from the City of North Platte Police Department.

1. Remove ALL valuable items from your vehicles. This could include Electronics, Sunglasses, Wallets, Cash/Loose Change, Sports Equipment, Cellphones, Tools, etc.

2. DO NOT leave your keys inside your vehicle. Most thieves see this as an easy target for potential theft.

3. ALWAYS lock your vehicle doors. If your vehicle can be easily accessed, it can be easily stolen.

4. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Don’t assume that every place you park your vehicle is protected from potential thefts. Try to park in well-lit areas and park where you can easily see your vehicle, if at all, possible.

We want everyone to be aware of this problem. If you see someone messing with vehicles that you know do not belong to that person, please contact the North Platte Police Department, ASAP. The sooner we can address the issue, the sooner we can prevent these thefts from occurring. Let’s all try to be safe and if you see something, say something!