Evanston police say a rash of car break-ins occurred earlier this week, mostly in the area just west of the Northwestern University campus.

Tuesday’s daily crime bulletin showed a total of eight car break-ins in the 2100 and 2200 blocks of Sherman Avenue and two more in the same blocks on Ridge Avenue.

Items taken included GPS units, cash, a radar detector, I-Pass units, Cell phones and other items left in plain view.

The police urge residents to follow the following tips to protect against having property stolen from a car.

  • Never leave your vehicle unlocked.
  • Never leave any keys in your car.
  • Never leave your vehicle windows partially open
  • Do not leave items of value in your vehicle such as; GPS Units, I-Pods, purses, wallets, checkbooks, credit cards, pocket change, computers, cameras, briefcases, cell phones, jewelry, backpacks, presents, etc.
  • When possible, take your garage door openers inside your home over night.
  • Install a car alarm.
  • Install constant illumination near residential driveways.
  • Write the make, model and serial number down immediately after purchasing a GPS, I-Pod, stereo system, computer, camera, or any electronic equipment etc. Keep this information in a safe place inside your residence.
  • Consider etching your initials, or use a permanent marker on items such as CD’s, garage door openers, gym bags, back packs or other items of significant value which are predominantly kept in your vehicle.
  • Remember, a stolen item can’t be entered into the stolen property data base without a serial number or other identifying number such as a driver license or victim name. These identifiers significantly increase our capability of matching stolen property to the victim.
  • If your checkbook, credit card ATM card or cell phone is stolen, immediately contact the appropriate banking institution, credit card company or cell phone provider to notify them and cancel the service.
  • Consider making photo copies of your credit cards with the contact number to report lost/stolen cards. Keep the photo copies in a safe secure place in the event you need the information after a theft.
  • Consider forming a neighborhood watch program. If interested contact crime prevention at 847-866-5019 or P.S.T. at 847-866-5018.
  • If you see a suspicious person trying door handles or looking into vehicles, call 911 or the non-emergency number 847-866-5000.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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