By now you have seen them, the reports that someone has made off with valuables from vehicles in the East Penn area.
And not just one a week -- there are often several.
But if you think you're tired of seeing these blotter listings, are no doubt tired of writing them and looking to the victims with an unfortunate "Sorry."
There are things that you can do to minimize the chances that your GPS, laptop, loose change or other valuables could be taken overnight from the car parked in front of your home.
The following are tips offered by the Pennsylvania State Police aimed at reducing the number of thefts from motor vehicles. Most are common sense. A little reminder may go a long way.
-- Lock your vehicles when parked outdoors, whether it is in the driveway, in the street out front or in a parking lot. Simply put: Lock your vehicle. (Most of the reports encountered involve unlocked vehicles.)
-- Lock the garage doors and entry doors to homes and patios. Besides providing access to what is a more greater payoff inside your home, open doors provide access to your unlocked vehicles.
-- Do not leave valuables inside your vehicle. Sure, it's inconvenient to drag these things inside, but if you really want to make sure they stay yours, it's a practice to consider.
-- If you choose to leave valuables in your car, at least put them out of sight so that they are not as obvious and attractive to thieves. If a thief does not see anything in your vehicle, he is likely to move on.
-- Try to park in well-lit areas. Prospective thieves are more likely to attempt not to be seen.
-- Consider installing motion-sensor lights that would illuminate the area and be more likely to scare away burglars.
Many of the motor vehicle theft reports so far have involved low-level criminals stealing from unlocked vehicles. If the pattern is maintained, you may be among the lucky by simply locking your doors.
Either way, police say that a big help in solving such crimes comes in their early reporting of actual incidents and suspicious activity leading up to thefts. They also encourage you to get to know your neighbors and participate in or begin a Block Watch program.
For futher information, contact Trooper Kirk Vanim through 610-395-1438 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.