TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Police are educating people about burglary prevention as we head into the winter months.
They say more valuable items are stolen from cars and homes during this time.
In many cases, it is because people are in a hurry and forget to lock up.
A registration was stolen out of a car in the parking lot on the corner of Ninth and Columbia streets Sunday night.
Police see a variety of items stolen.
"I think it's sad we have to be concerned that people are that desperate or that they would do something like that," neighbor Dusty Schriber said.
"People do what they gotta do and unfortunately they think that's what they have to do," neighbor Lexxis Roberts said.
Both Schriber and Roberts realize theft happens year-round. But officers say the kinds of things stolen tend to change with the seasons.
"The population we have here, a lot of them go home for the holidays," said Capt. David Van Vactor of the West Lafayette Police Department.
"With the winter season coming up, the holiday season, people leaving their valuables or things they've purchased in easy view of people," Lt. Scott Galloway of the Lafayette Police Department said.
They say people need to make sure things are locked up. Not just in homes but in cars, too.
"For an individual to steal something because they can't afford it, they're probably getting more for their bargain in somebody's residence than they would say from a vehicle," said Van Vactor.
"You can leave things in your vehicle that people wanna steal, so valuables, purses, wallets laying out, people could break your windows," Galloway said.
Police say as you run in and out of stores this holiday season, never leave anything in plain sight.
"Leave them in the trunk or hide them under the seat or even, you know, if you have something, a jacket, just kind of cover it up with that," Roberts said.
And if you plan on leaving town for the holidays, make sure to lock up. But you can also ask someone you trust to keep an eye on your house.
"I think anytime you leave your house unattended for a period of time, you should be aware of ensuring your property is safe," said Schriber.
Officers suggest making a log of your most valuable items. That way if something is missing it will be easier to track down.
As for the stolen registration, police say there isn't a huge threat. But if anything is stolen with your name on it, always file a police report.