Rising Crime | Theft From Cars an Easy Target

South Pasadena Police Urge Residents to Lock Car Doors. Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee says thefts from unlocked vehicles is on the rise

FILE PHOTO: Auto Theft

Larcenies/thefts were the greatest increase in city crimes in 2018, according to South Pasadena Police Department officials.

Thefts from unlocked vehicles, report local police, were the highest category of thefts, surpassing shoplifts last year.

“For the past several years, shoplifts were the highest category of thefts,” explained Richard Lee, a crime prevention officer with the local department. “In January 2019, we continued to see a number of thefts from unlocked vehicles.”

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Lee says thefts from unlocked vehicles is a crime of opportunity. “The thief will simply walk down the street pulling on vehicle door handles in hopes of finding an unlocked door,” he said. “Once inside the vehicle, the thief can gain access to the trunk of the car.”

Items reported stolen included coins, sunglasses and miscellaneous paper. “However, many valuable items were left in plain view like cellphones, laptops and wallets,” said Lee.

Just like leaving the home, Lee encourages residents to check for unlocked doors.

“Even if something small was stolen, report it to the police,” he said.

Theft reports can be made online on the South Pasadena Police Department’s website. (click here)

PHOTO: Timothy Straw | Southpasadenan.com | South Pasadena Police Department