As winter and the holidays approach, Bend police are reminding it’s important to take more precautions when securing your vehicles and belongings.
Police said Monday that Bend has seen a rise in both car thefts and break-ins this year. So far in 2019, there have been 88 stolen cars and 21 arrests.
During the winter and holiday season, there is an increase in what police call ” crimes of opportunity. ”
” Somebody will go the grocery store or convenience store, go in, get something to eat — and then the car is gone, because they left the car running with the keys inside ,* Lt. Juli McConkey said.
” Unfortunately, we get that, so I’m hoping we can explain to people to please take the keys out of the car and take them with you, ” she said.
Other crimes of opportunity can occur when a person is warming up their car in the driveway in the morning or evening, sometimes leaving the car unattended.
McConkey suggested putting any packages or valuables in the trunk of your car and not in visible areas. She also encouraged drivers to never keys in a car unattended — and always lock your doors.
” I would suggest parking under a street light, if you live on a street with street lights, McConkey said. ” When it’s lit up, people don’t want to be seen. If there are trees or something that is blocking the way of the car, park somewhere it is not being blocked. ”