MERIDIAN, Idaho — The Meridian Police Department issued an advisory on Wednesday urging residents to lock their vehicles amid dozens of reported thefts.
Since the beginning of this year, Jan. 1, 2023, there have been 44 reports of vehicle burglaries in Meridian. Common items stolen include wallets, purses, jewelry and even firearms - of which there have 12 firearms reported as stolen from parked vehicles.
According to the Meridian Police Department (MPD), the data reflects a 41.9 percent increase from 2022. Of the 12 guns stolen from vehicles, 10 were accessible because the vehicles were unlocked.
Property Crimes Sergeant Matt Parsons said, "the easiest and most effective way residents can protect themselves and their property is by removing their belongings and locking their vehicles when not in use."
"Idaho is not like it was thirty years ago where it was considered to be relatively safe to leave your vehicles unlocked. Most of our reported vehicle thefts could have been prevented by individuals simply locking their vehicle," said Parsons.
MPD insists that locking the vehicle is the best way to protect personal property and avoid becoming a victim of a theft crime.
Additional preventative measures to protect personal property in vehicle:
- Park in well-lit areas: Thieves are less likely to target a car parked in a well-lit area where they can be more easily seen.
- Install an alarm system: An alarm system can deter thieves and alert you and others nearby if someone tries to break into your car.
- Don't leave valuables in plain sight: Always remember to remove items such as firearms from the vehicle when parking; especially in publicly accessible areas, such as parking lots and driveways.
The Meridian Police Department added that it offers free gun locks, available for pickup Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you witness suspicious or criminal activity, MPD offers a tip line. Just text 'TIP MERIDIAN' followed by your message to 888777 or submit an anonymous tip on the MPD website.
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