Protect your valuables

— The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office has reported an increase in vehicle break-ins at various fitness center parking lots throughout Onondaga County.

After a rash of vehicle break-ins at various fitness centers, the Sheriff’s Office is warning the public to take reasonable precautions to prevent theft. Most auto-related thefts are crimes of opportunity. All too many drivers leave valuable items in plain sight, greatly increasing the chances of a break-in.

In addition, the majority of the vehicles entered are unlocked; however, locked doors do not deter the thieves from smashing the window. Both here in Onondaga County and across the country, thieves are targeting purses, GPS systems and other high value electronic devices left inside vehicles.

Fitness center parking lots can be a prime spot for crime and that’s why the Sheriff's Office is recommending that before reaching your destination, drivers place GPS units and other valuable items out of sight. Additionally, purses and wallets should be locked in the trunk and motorists should park in busy, well lit areas, lock all doors and don't leave any indication that a vehicle may contain valuables. Alarms and other anti-theft devices may discourage thieves.

If you discover your valuables stolen, you should immediately call the police to report the incident. If the valuables consist of credit cards, it is very important to contact the credit card company and cancel the cards right away.

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