Fairfield police offer tips amidst reports of stolen cars, thefts

Fairfield police car.

Fairfield police car.

File photo / File photo

FAIRFIELD — The police department is reminding residents to lock their cars and secure their belongings as part of a national movement to increase awareness.

Within Fairfield, 52 vehicles have been reported stolen so far this year, slightly higher than the 44 reported by this point last year. There have also been 209 thefts from motor vehicles reported, down from the 241 reported this point last year, according to police data.

There were 113 total vehicles reported stolen in town in 2020 and 476 thefts from motor vehicles reported in 2020. The incidents were reported throughout town.

While there isn’t data available on whether these vehicles were locked or not, officials in neighboring towns are reporting that the vast majority of stolen vehicles or thefts from vehicles involved unlocked cars.

“As a rule of thumb, residents should lock their car doors every time they exit their vehicle,” Fairfield Police Chief Robert Kalamaras said. “Residents are also advised to take all valuables with them when they leave their vehicle, as a would-be criminal may still attempt to break in despite doors being locked if a valuable item is left in view.”

New Canaan, Wilton, Westport and Ridgefield all reported more thefts in 2020 compared to 2019 and some said they were on track to surpass last year’s numbers again this year.

There were 721,885 motor vehicles stolen in the U.S. in 2019, which translated to one every 43.8 seconds. Of those, only 56.1 percent of them were recovered, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

The NHTSA also warns that vehicle parts and valuable items left in vehicles are targets for thieves. Some of the most targeted parts are radios, wheel covers, doors, engines, transmissions, air bags and radios, while GPS units, cellphones, iPads, laptops and purses top the list for valuables stolen from vehicles.

Both the NHTSA and Fairfield Police remind vehicle owners to use common sense when parking and exiting their vehicles.

This includes closing windows, locking the doors, not leaving keys in the vehicle and never leaving the vehicle unattended while it’s running. Valuables shouldn’t be left in the vehicle, but any items kept in there should be hidden or in the trunk. Credit or debit cards, cash, wallets, or purses should never be kept in a vehicle overnight.

Officials also advise people park in well-lit and visible areas or in a garage, as well as install lights with motion sensors near where the vehicles are parked.

Drivers should also get into the habit of ensuring their cars are locked and secure every night as part of the “9 p.m. routine.”

If a vehicle is stolen or broken into, people should call the police as well as their insurance company. Anyone who finds their vehicle before authorities should immediately call the police.