Crimes of opportunity

Over the past few weeks, 10 vehicle burglaries have occurred in Oneonta, and Oneonta Police Chief James Chapman attributes the crimes to the owner’s carelessness.

“Ten car burglaries in two or three weeks is a highly unusual number of occurrences in Oneonta,” Chapman said. “However, they are all crimes of opportunity.”

According to Chapman, all 10 incidences involved unlocked vehicles with some including purses in clear view. No specific time is common. They have occurred during the morning, afternoon, and night hours. However, some of the burglaries seemed to be tied together with two or three occurring in the same vicinity including grocery stores around town, he said.

“People are not cautious enough,” Chapman said. “Thieves literally are sitting in parking lots waiting for you to get out of your car and not lock your doors or leave your purse unattended, then the minute you turn around or are out of sight, they take the opportunity to steal from you.”

Chapman says preventing these crimes is simple. Lock your doors. Don’t leave valuables unattended.

“Most thieves aren’t going to go through the trouble of jimmying a lock or breaking a window, but a lot more than just one or two criminals will take something, especially if you lay the red carpet out for them,” he said.