BERLIN – Police are reminding residents to lock their doors to ensure valuables remain safe.
Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing encouraged residents to lock their car doors, their house doors and their garage doors this week.
The message comes after a trio of residents shared video on social media of someone rifling through cars at night.
“Don’t leave anything valuable in your car,” Downing said. “Please lock your house when you leave. Always lock your garage.”
On August 13, the Berlin Police Department shared a public service announcement urging residents to start a 9 p.m. routine.
The campaign calls for residents to lock their cars, house and garage, then turn on their exterior lights, cameras and alarms and finally to bring in valuables from cars.
“The best way to prevent theft of valuables, especially from your vehicle or garage, is to make sure they’re properly secured,” a Facebook post reads. “So, tonight before you go to sleep, give your car a little beep.”
The day after the department shared the public service announcement, a resident shared video on Facebook of a man going through an unlocked car on West Street in the middle of the night. Other residents were quick to chime in with their own security footage and share incidents of stolen items from their own vehicles.
Downing said he saw three social media posts on the subject during the past week but that the police department had received just one report of items being taken from an unlocked vehicle.
The police chief said anyone who experiences a theft should contact the department.
“We respond to every call we get,” he said.
He said thefts from unlocked vehicles were not unusual this time of year, when people often left car windows open and doors unlocked.
He said nearly all of the thefts from vehicles in Berlin were from unlocked vehicles.
“Generally speaking, it’s very close to if not 100%,” he said. “In the last five years it’s all unlocked cars.”
As a result, police are again reminding residents to lock their vehicles.
“If everyone locks their cars these guys are out of a job,” he said.
Downing added residents could also help by simply looking out their windows throughout the evening to get a glimpse of what was going on in their neighborhood.
“We’re in a different world right now,” he said.
Downing said that if residents kept an eye out and reported any and all thefts that occurred, the police would likely be able to pinpoint a route and identify the individual responsible.