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East Lansing police warn residents of rise of thefts from vehicles

Police presence increased
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:49 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Before you load up your car to head to your family’s home for the holiday weekend, police are warning residents about a series of vehicle break-ins in the area.

Police are encouraging people everywhere to be mindful of luggage and other items being left in your vehicles.

East Lansing is one area that has seen a spike in theft cases involving people breaking into vehicles. Police are warning the public about thieves in the area taking valuables from vehicles -- not just cellphones and purses.

“We have had a gun or two stolen out of a vehicle,” said East Lansing police Capt. Chad Connelly. “We just want to remind people that are gun owners to make sure they’re taking that weapon out of the car and not leaving it unattended, making sure it’s in a safe place.”

In many instances, a person will leave their car door unlocked while they run into their home or business, not not knowing there are people lurking who see the moment as an opportunity to steal.

“We’ve seen it where people’s computers have been stolen or their laptops have been stolen. Not only is that a value lost in that property, but often those laptops and tablets contain very sentimental items such as pictures of family or children,” Connelly said. “I’ve policed many cases where people were more concerned about things like that and getting those sentimental items back. More so than even the property and the value of that property like a laptop.”

Connelly said they give pawn shops and other used item stores the stolen item’s serial numbers to help track them down. In some cases, people will try to make money off the items, rather than keep them for themselves.

Police are urging residents to not leave valuables in their vehicle and to make sure the doors are locked.

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