Planet Princeton

Area Police Warn Residents about Early Morning Car Thefts

princetonpolice_2A resident on the first block of  Leicester Court in Princeton reported that today at 7:35 a.m., a black male drove away with his 2011 Audi A4 valued at $36,000.00 while it was warming up in his driveway. The black male, described as having an athletic build and wearing a black wool coat and a red scarf, got out of a newer model blue Mercedes, possibly C class, and drove away with the victim’s vehicle.

Police in Princeton and West Windsor are warning residents not to leave unattended cars running, and not to leave the keys in the ignition. Several cars in the Central Jersey area have been stolen mornings after people left them running in the cold weather in order to warm them up.

West Windsor Police have issued the following tips:

-Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away from it, even for “just a minute.”
-Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it’s in front of your home.
-Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight.
-Remove portable electronic devices such as smart phones and GPS navigation systems, including suction cup or bean bag type mounts. (Even the visible appearance of a suction cup ring on the glass windshield can be an enticement to a thief to break in and look for the GPS system.)
– Park in busy, well-lighted area.
– Carry the registration and insurance card with you. Don’t leave personal identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
– When you pay to park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition or valet key with the attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car for repairs.

For extra protection:

– Install a mechanical locking device — commonly called clubs, collars, or j-bars — that lock to the steering wheel, column, or brake to prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees. Use it!
– Investigate security systems if you live in a high-theft area or drive an automobile that’s an attractive target for thieves. You may get a discount on your auto insurance.

To avoid car break-ins:

– Do not leave valuables in plain view such as GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, cell phones, MP3’s, wallets, purses.
– Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
– Do not leave doors unlocked.
– Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
– Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
– Do not leave out items with personal information.
– Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
– Slow Down and use common sense before you leave your car.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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