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Car thefts, break-ins on the rise near university

A+New+Orleans+Police+Department+vehicle+sits+outside+as+an+officer+responds+to+a+call+in+the+Lower+Garden+District.++Police+in+the+Uptown+area+are+on+high-alert+as+vehicle-related+crimes+have+spiked+up+in+recent+months.+Photo+credit%3A+John+Casey
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Car thefts, break-ins on the rise near university

A New Orleans Police Department vehicle sits outside as an officer responds to a call in the Lower Garden District.  Police in the Uptown area are on high-alert as vehicle-related crimes have spiked up in recent months. Photo credit: John Casey

A New Orleans Police Department vehicle sits outside as an officer responds to a call in the Lower Garden District. Police in the Uptown area are on high-alert as vehicle-related crimes have spiked up in recent months. Photo credit: John Casey

A New Orleans Police Department vehicle sits outside as an officer responds to a call in the Lower Garden District. Police in the Uptown area are on high-alert as vehicle-related crimes have spiked up in recent months. Photo credit: John Casey

A New Orleans Police Department vehicle sits outside as an officer responds to a call in the Lower Garden District. Police in the Uptown area are on high-alert as vehicle-related crimes have spiked up in recent months. Photo credit: John Casey

Mairead Cahill

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The New Orleans Police Department has a warning for Uptown residents: make sure your vehicles are secure.

The department has issued warnings after a recent rise in car thefts and vehicle break-ins in the neighborhood. According to NOPD, most of the crimes seem to be ones of opportunity.

“While arrests have been made in many of these incidents, it is vital for citizens to properly secure and lock their vehicles,” said an NOPD spokesperson from the Second District.

In October, 22 cars were reported as stolen within the district. That rise in automobile thefts has continued to plague Uptown throughout November.

In one week along, there were eight reported car thefts and six car break-ins within the Second District. Half of the thefts occurred close to campus on streets between Calhoun Street and Napoleon Avenue.

The Loyola University Police Department’s advice for students with cars is to take steps to “make your vehicle a lot less attractive.”

“First and foremost, I would suggest that people lock their vehicles with the windows up. Never leave the motor running, even if you are only a short distance away. Normally, almost half of the vehicles taken are unlocked and/or the keys were left in the vehicle,” Captain Roger Pinac said.

Statistics from the Second District office show that of the 40 vehicle burglaries reported in the month of October, 39 showed no sign of forced entry, indicating that the vehicles may have been left unsecured.

Pinac advised that drivers with key fobs need to be aware of automatic unlocking features that could make their vehicles more susceptible to break-ins.

“Citizens should also remember with some vehicles, if a key fob is within a certain distance of the vehicle, the vehicle will automatically unlock when the door handles are pulled. Car owners should confirm with their auto dealer the safe distance between their fobs and vehicles,” Pinac said.

He also advised that students buy GPS tracking for their cars so that they are well equipped in the event of a theft.

“This allows for quick recovery before the vehicle can be stripped or worse,” Pinac said.

AltoIt’s tips like these that Pinac believes are critical to vehical safety.

“You almost cannot stop a determined car thief, especially if they are targeting a specific vehicle. But you can make your vehicle a lot less attractive by utilizing these basic measures,” he said.

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Car thefts, break-ins on the rise near university