In the past two weeks, an estimated 42 cars, 19 homes and four businesses have been burglarized, authorities said Wednesday.
"And there's probably twice that many that haven't been reported," said Carson City Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Marshall.
"If we don't know your neighborhood is being burglarized, we can't send deputies out to patrol," he added.
Everything from spare change in a car console to sports jerseys worth thousands of dollars have been reported stolen recently.
"We've been getting hit hard, especially because of the time of year," said Lt. Bev Moltz. Police suspect the burglaries are more crimes of opportunity than an organized spree.
With that in mind, the Sheriff's Department is offering the following tips:
- Lock your doors.
Marshall said in 25 percent of the car burglaries, the vehicles were unlocked.
- Keep garage doors and windows secure. Remove your garage-door opener from your vehicle.
"In one case, a suspect broke into the car, got the garage door opener, opened the garage, and took a gun," he said.
- Attempt to hide your stereo equipment or any packages in your vehicle.
Moltz said it's better to lock the packages in the trunk if you're going into another store to avoid tempting a thief. "Out of sight is out of mind."
- Look for suspicious people who appear to be casing vehicles or neighborhoods. Report any suspicious activity to police.
"We'd rather respond to a hundred of these calls than have someone be a victim of these crimes," she said.
- Mark your property with a permanent marker or scribe.
"More than once a night, a resident is being burgled," Marshall said. He said a bulk of the car burglaries are happening at night, right in front of people's homes.
As people rush out this final weekend before Christmas to get last-minute presents, Marshall said the thieves are out shopping as well.
"This weekend, it's guaranteed that someone's gifts will be stolen from their car," he said. "We want to educate the public. Lock your home and car, roll up the windows tight."
"These tips are pretty much common sense, but you might not think about them," Moltz said.
Both stressed the importance of reporting a burglary.
"We can't do anything about them if we don't know about them," Marshall said.
Tips to prevent home and
- Lock your doors.
- Don't hide your keys under the mat.
- Keep garage doors locked and windows secured.
- Keep home exteriors well-lit.
- Use automatic lights timers.
- Ask neighbors and friends to watch your home while you are away.
- Stop home deliveries when you are out of town.
- Never open your door to a stranger.
- Consider a home alarm system.
- Disconnect your garage door opener while you're away.
- Replace locks if you lose your keys.
- Shut your windows and shades.
- Lock your vehicle.
- Keep windows rolled up.
- Try to hide vehicle stereo equipment.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Don't leave your vehicle unattended while warming up or
- Install alarm systems.
- Look for suspicious persons or vehicles.
- Mark your property.
- Take photographs.
- Document serial numbers.
- Report all suspicious activity immediately.
- Carson City Sheriff's Department
Contact F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.