Front Royal police are reminding citizens to always lock their vehicles, especially during the holiday season, when thefts from motor vehicles are surging.
“We have seen a recent increase in thefts from motor vehicles, which is not unusual during this time of year, and urge everyone to take extra precautions to minimize their chances of becoming a victim,” a press release from the department stated.
According to an email from Chief Kerry Magalis, there is no specific area for the vehicle break-ins and they have occurred in both the north and south zones, with no activity in the middle of town. Most recent incidents have occurred at the Front Royal Christian School, Commonwealth Assisted Living and Warren Memorial Hospital, Magalis stated.
The reported items stolen have been wallets, purses, a backpack containing a laptop, Apple Airpods and loose change from the vehicles, Magalis said. There have not been any broken windows or vehicle damage with the string of break-ins and there is no pattern to the vehicle types being targeted. No cars have been stolen.
“Vehicle break-ins are a crime of opportunity and thieves often check door handles to find unlocked cars and look through windows for anything of value that is easily visible,” the release stated. “To prevent broken windows and additional damage to your vehicle, make sure to move coats, bags, purses, and other valuables into the trunk. When it comes to deterring thieves, the easiest steps you can take are locking up and removing valuables.”
Police conduct regular patrols through all of the town neighborhoods, Magalis said. The department has identified suspects and charges will be forthcoming, he said.
The department also would like to remind citizens of scams and fraudulent calls they may receive. The department has been made aware of citizens allegedly receiving calls from Amazon and Apple, according to the release.
“If you receive an unexpected call or message about a problem with any of your accounts, do not engage or give out personal or financial information over the phone,” the release stated. “This includes date of birth, social security number, account numbers, credit card numbers, etc. If you think there may be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company directly.”
There has not been much in the way of residential package thefts, Magalis added. Officers will be keeping an eye out for suspicious activity around residences as they always do, he said.