Once again, vehicle burglaries in Washoe County are on the rise | SierraSun.com

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Once again, vehicle burglaries in Washoe County are on the rise

In what's become an annual reminder — if not several times yearly — the Washoe County Sheriff's Office is again reminding residents to lock their cars and remove valuables from plain views throughout the region.

According to a Feb. 9 news release, WCSO officials have responded to "nearly twice the number of vehicle burglaries during the first month of 2017 than were reported during the same time frame in 2016."

"Most of the burglaries have occurred in south Reno/Arrowcreek area and almost all have involved vehicles that were left unlocked," officials said.

Despite the spike occurring down the hill, the Incline Village areas has seen its fair share of vehicle burglaries over the years, with instances either dominated by cars being unlocked or with people who leave items like purses, iPhones and other valuables within plain view.

Often times with the latter situation, known as a crime of opportunity, thieves will perform a smash and grab job on your car by breaking the driver-side window and nabbing your belongings.

Meanwhile, according to WCSO, "during some of the most recent incidents in the south Reno area, the suspect also took items left inside of residential mailboxes, raising concerns about the additional crime of identity theft."

"The Washoe County Sheriff's Office reminds all residents that criminals often look for the easiest way to enter vehicles and homes and will target unlocked vehicles," officials said. "Garage door openers left in unsecure vehicles have been used to gain access to a residence, leaving homes open to potentially dangerous criminals. Crimes of this nature are basically crimes of opportunity."

The Sheriff's Office urges residents to remove those opportunities:

Lock your doors.

Do not leave items in plain view in your vehicle.

If parking outside, remove your garage door opener from your vehicle.

Always take your keys with you.

Don't leave your vehicle warming up in the drive way unattended.

Place outgoing mail in secure U.S. Postal Service boxes

Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

Additional safety information is available from the "Staying Safe" page at WashoeSheriff.com.

Anyone with information about these or other burglaries should contact the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Detective Division at 775-328-3320 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.