Police use unusual tactic to fight car thefts - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Police use unusual tactic to fight car thefts

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

It's a bit of a scare tactic.  Richmond Police make another unusual move to get people to stop leaving valuables in their cars.

This, after an uptick in car break-ins in The Fan.  

There were a lot of cars that looked they had received parking tickets this weekend. But these cars actually received fake parking tickets with warnings from police to not leave anything valuable in plain sight.  

These fake parking tickets made Jessica Godsey's heart skip a beat when she saw one this weekend.

"I thought they were all tickets," Godsey said.  "What I did was immediately picked one off the vehicle and I saw it was a violation for GPS's, laptops, cell phones, purses which doesn't make sense because it's your personal property."

She lives in The Fan. This is one of the areas where police say there's been an increase in car break-ins.

A look at the crime data shows break-ins are up nearly 25 percent during the last month in that precinct.

Godsey may not like the tickets, but she admits, it worked.

"Last night when I parked my vehicle I made sure my GPS was nowhere in sight," she said.  "It did get my attention."

Trying to prevent people from leaving cell phones and other valuable items in their car has been a constant struggle for police so these fake parking tickets are not the first way RPD has been trying to get your attention.

You may remember RPD knocking on doors in the middle of the night earlier this spring to warn Northside residents who had left valuables in their cars.

Fan resident Sara Laverdy says she's used to hearing about break-ins, but the message doesn't get through to everyone.

"It's an area where you have to be aware of what you're putting in your car," Laverdy said.  "I always put my purse under the seat or something like that.  I don't think a lot of people take the time to really worry about that even though they live in this area."

Police say you should take all your valuables inside or hide them in your trunk. You shouldn't use your glove box as a safe.

Even toll change left in plain sight can convince a criminal to break into your car. 

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