Lock it, to stop it!

Vehicle burglaries are a crime of opportunity for criminals, and they often target vehicles of those that are left unlocked.

Burglars typically go through neighborhoods checking for unlocked car door handles. They spend less than a minute inside the vehicle, and they always check the glove box and center consoles.

This crime can be prevented by following some easy steps to keep you from being a victim of vehicle burglary and theft.

---LOCK IT, TO STOP IT! Lock your car doors at all times.

---Do not leave valuables in your vehicles. This includes purses, computers, ipods, sunglasses, or anything of value.

---Make sure to close all windows and sunroofs to your vehicle at all times.

---Try to park your vehicle in a well-lit and populated area. Be aware of your surroundings.

---Consider aftermarket car stereo models with removable faceplates. Take the faceplate with you when you leave your vehicle.

---Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the burglar will be identified if he tries to pawn.

What should you do if you find your car has been burglarized? If the burglary is in progress, call 911. The call taker will ask you who you are and where you are calling from. Then they will ask you to describe the suspect (race, sex, height, weight and clothing description).

If the burglary has already occurred, call our Dispatch center non-emergency phone number of 225-621-8300, option 1.

Do not get inside of the car to see what's missing because you may be destroying evidence needed to catch the burglar.

Contributed by APSO