Number of car break-ins in Utica up over last year

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The numbers are staggering, 389 car break-ins in Utica so far in 2012. That's about 15 percent higher than the total of 340 in all of 2011, and there are still three months left to go in the year.

Utica Police Sgt. Steve Hauck says the increase may be due to the economy, and the fact that car larcenies are such easy crimes to commit.

Hauck says the two main things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, are making sure your car doors are always locked when your vehicle is parked, and don't leave anything of value in plain sight, "If you keep the car locked and you keep nothing of value in sight, they will go to the next vehicle, because that's really what they're looking for, they're looking for the path of least resistance."

Hauck says it's also a good idea to keep an outdoor light on at night. He says the thieves often look for dark areas to commit the crime.

Also, if you are a victim, even if someone just steals loose change, Hauck says report it to police, "The other aspect of this crime, which a lot of people don't think about is, it goes unreported a lot. They go to the car and all they took was change, or all they took was something I really didn't need, so they don't bother. It's something, even if you don't want prosecution, to call us, because we need to know where these crimes are occurring so we can focus our enforcement."

If you are reluctant to call police because you don't want to take the time to go down to the police station and file a police report, you can do so online, or over the phone, all without an officer having to come out.

Hauck says in these types of larcenies, it's usually one or two, or a group of people, committing the same crime, over and over and over, "And if we can find out if they are in a particular area, it can help us track, maybe where enforcement needs to be. If you see something in your neighborhood that just doesn't quite look right, no matter, where you live, call us, we'll check it out, if it's nothing, then it's nothing, but you never know what you might prevent."

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