Rash of vehicle break-ins reported

Westfield police are again urging residents to remove valuable items from their vehicles and to lock them when they are parked, especially overnight, after a spate of breaks into vehicles in the Western Avenue neighborhood of the city.
City police report that five complaints were received Tuesday from residents whose vehicles had been entered overnight and whose property had been stolen.
On Westwood drive, a woman reported that she had been alerted by a neighbor, who informed her that he had found some of her property in a nearby wooded area.
The woman checked her vehicle, which had been unlocked in her driveway, and found that a bag containing a purse, a Pandora bracelet and clothing had been removed from the trunk of her Honda Accord. Her neighbor returned most of the contents but the bag itself and the cash which had been in it were not recovered.
A short time later, a second Westwood Drive resident reported to police that she had found that a shopping bag, which had been in her unlocked Honda CRV overnight, had been removed from the car. The woman said that the bag contained nothing of value and that most of the contents were recovered nearby.
On Woodland Road, a caller reported that her husband had noticed that the door to her unlocked Dodge Caravan was ajar when he left for work and, when she checked, she found that her purse had been stolen from the van.
The woman called police again a short time later and reported that the purse and some of the contents had been found outside her house, but her driver’s license, cash and financial instruments were stolen.
On Coolidge Avenue, a resident reported that his vehicle had been entered overnight.
The victim said that he had parked his car at about midnight and in the morning found a door ajar.  He investigated to find the content s of the Toyota Scion had been disturbed and two iPod MP3 players had been stolen.
The man insisted that he had locked his car but the officer reports no signs of forcible entry were found. The victim conceded that he may have inadvertently triggered the remote unlocking device while inside his home.
On Western Avenue, a resident reported that she parked her Toyota Camry at about 7 p.m. and in the morning found a door ajar. The woman said that she found that a designer wallet with an attached set of keys had been stolen, as well as a handheld video game player and 12 video games.
The woman said that she was unsure if the vehicle had been locked, but the officer reports there were no signs of forcible entry.
Capt. Hipolito Nunez said, in response to the rash of burglaries, that while it is important to lock vehicles, it is more important to remove valuables from them.
“These break ins are a crime of opportunity which are made possible by people leaving their cars unlocked, but more importantly they should take all valuables out (of the vehicles). Secondly, they should lock their cars,” he said.
He said that removing valuables is most important, as items left in sight often prompt thieves to break a window.
“If they see valuables in there, they’ll smash the windows” he said.

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