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Chico Police: Car thefts, break-ins down

Chico Police say the number of car thefts & break-ins has decreased from this time last year.

Posted: Nov 8, 2017 4:31 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2017 4:48 PM

Chico Police say the number of car thefts & break-ins has decreased from this time last year.  Thanks to social media, when a car theft occurs, we are more likely to hear about it.  But according to statistics, there are fewer incidents this year as compared to this time last year.  Chico Police Department Public Information Officer Julia Yarbough says, "We took a snapshot of a random three month period, and compared the numbers, and we're actually seeing a decrease in the number of cars broken into, and the number of car thefts." Yarbough says the data reveals that many cars are stolen as a crime of opportunity.  She says people are still leaving their keys in the car, and they're leaving the windows cracked or rolled down.  She advises people to "Make it tougher for the bad guys. Don't leave the windows rolled down, and definitely do not leave the keys inside the car."
According to the California Highway Patrol, in the colder months, thieves from the Bay Area will drive to the Chico area, looking for cars left on and running in the driveway, as drivers try to warm them up.  Chico Police have posted a list of tips for car owners to avoid being victimized. 
1. NEVER leave your keys in your car, even spare keys. Whether you are parking for the night or just running into the gas station for
:30 seconds, most car thefts are crimes of opportunity. Keys in your car is a stolen car
2. NEVER leave your vehicle running unattended if you are warming it up in the driveway stay with it. A running car is
an easily stolen car
3. Purchase a lock or alarm. A lock like "the Club" which attaches to your steering wheel can be defeated, but is a visible
reminder that you have taken st eps to secure your vehicle. The blinking light of an alarm also shows that your vehicle
should not be tampered with. Hopefully a potential car thief will move on to an easier target. This is especially
important of your car is one of the “easy to steal” models (90's Honda, Acura, or Toyota)
4. Account for all your keys. Don't use "Hide a keys" under your vehicle. Yes, car thieves look for them. Keep
your spare keys hidden in your home. If your house is burglarized, don't let your spare keys be easily taken
for future burglaries or thefts
5. Always park as securely as you can. Park in well lit areas where the
vehicle can be seen by you and others
6. Security cameras are a good deterrent. Post signs letting criminals know you have security systems and are
proactively watching your property
7. Don't leave the title (pink slip) in the car (you would be surprised how many people do). With the title, a thief can forge
your signature and attempt to change ownership of the vehicle (o
r use it as a defense if caught)
8. Always keep the windows rolled up, and the vehicle locked (that includes keeping the convertible tops and sunroofs
closed and locked also). Don't give a thief easy access to your vehicle
9. Keep valuables (even non-valuables) out of sight. Take them with you or lock them in
your trunk. Remove the temptation for a thief to get into your vehicle in the
first place
10. If you have a utility trailer, boat, camp trailer or other towable trailer, lock the tongue with a lock to keep it from getti
ng stolen by being easily towed away
11. Take a minute to snap a couple of photographs of your vehicle, including any bumper stickers, accessories like roof
racks or push bumpers you have added, distinctive damage such as dents or repairs, the license plate and VIN
number. Our newly-updated mobile app has a property module designed just for storing photos of your property. If
your vehicle is ever stolen, having that information available can assist in recovery
12. Always report a stolen vehicle to law enforcement as quickly as possible. If you DO find your own vehicle (it happens),
do not recover it yourself. Keep eyes on it and call law enforcement to recover it. They can process it for evidence,
and you don't want to be spotted driving a reported stolen vehicle
Chico Police Department
Tip Line 530.896.TIPS (8477)

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The first of two storms moved over northern California late last night and this morning, but our weather has quieted for now. More rain showers will fall Saturday, but heavier rain and snow with stronger wind arrives Sunday.
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