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Preventing theft

Out of sight, out of mind

POSTED December 7, 2017 4:47 p.m.

One of the most common crimes of the holiday season — and one that is often preventable — is theft from vehicles, according to local law enforcement officials.
“Theft from vehicles happens more often the closer to Christmas we get in Great Bend,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. “During this time of year it is important to lock vehicles and to lock stuff in your trunks to prevent what we call crimes of opportunity.”
According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, a vehicle full of Christmas gifts is a easy target for thieves. It gives them easy access to items by just breaking a window or trying the doors to see if they are unlocked.
“It is very important to prevent theft from vehicles,” Bellendir said. “While out doing your shopping, lock these items in the trunk of your vehicles or, if you do not have a trunk, cover them up to keep them out of sight from thieves.”
Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight. Breaking into an empty car isn’t worth a thief’s time. However, anything left in plain view — from your holiday gifts to spare change, sunglasses, CDs, cell phones or briefcases — may tempt a thief.
“Leaving items such as purses, cash and other valuable items in plain sight offers these thieves a crime of opportunity,” Bellendir said. “Most thieves look for easy to grab items. The harder you make it for them the less likely they will even try to break into a vehicle.”

Home deliveries
The sheriff’s office would also like to remind people about securing items left on their porches by delivery companies. These items are easy to steal and get away with; they should be secured as soon as possible or delivered to your work place or to a friend’s house where you know they will be home for the delivery.
“Another crime we see a lot of during this time of year is people stealing packages from people’s porches,” Bellendir said. “If you order items online, make sure someone will be home to get the package or have them delivered to your work if possible.”

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