Utica police advising public to not leave valuables in their vehicles

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 4, 2020

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UTICA — The Utica Police Department is warning the public to not leave valuable items inside unattended vehicles.

The Utica Police Department receives reports of larcenies from vehicles every week, many of which occur at local stores and gyms.

Police are hoping that residents will become more mindful of what they leave unattended in not only their vehicles, but also in their gym lockers.

“We just want people to know that you shouldn’t leave valuables in your vehicles or somewhere you won’t be for a while,” said Utica Police Detective Greg Morabito.

Thieves look for an opportunity where they know they will have enough time to break in, such as at stores and gyms. 

Just recently, the Utica Police Department took multiple reports of vehicles that had been broken into and from which items were taken.

On Jan. 9, a woman went to Planet Fitness at 6 p.m. Two hours later, she came out and noticed that there was a hole underneath her driver’s side door handle. Someone had broken into her vehicle and taken her purse, which she had left in her vehicle.

In another incident that occurred at about 8:25 p.m. Jan. 9, police took a report from a man who flagged down police in the parking lot at Planet Fitness after someone had entered his vehicle and taken his wallet from the center console. 

A third incident occurred nine days later after a woman parked her pickup truck at Planet Fitness at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 18. At 9 a.m., she returned to her vehicle to find that her purse along with her identification and credit cards were gone.

Morabito is hoping that residents will be more aware of what they leave in their vehicles.

“When you’re going to the gym or someplace where you’ll be in a place for a long time, either leave your valuables at home or take them with you. And when you are going into a gym facility, it is something that often happens, for someone to break into your locker, and people should be mindful and go there with nothing but your keys and your ID. 

“They are not uncommon occurrences, and people should be mindful because (larcenies from vehicles) are things that we often see, and I have three of them right now, and it’s not often that there are weeks where we don’t have them,” Morabito said in January.

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