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Safety Recommendations to Help Keep You from Being a Car Clout Target
Sergeant Larry Lucas
Oregon State Police - St. Helens
Office: (503) 397-0325 ext. 40

Warm weather brings out not only those who want to enjoy area recreation spots, but it also attracts those who want to take advantage of easy targets by breaking into vehicles and stealing someone's property. To help slow down what has been a big problem at many beach access areas along the Columbia River, the Oregon State Police (OSP) and Columbia County-area public safety agencies offer tips that may protect you from thieves working those beach parking areas looking in vehicles for valuables in plain sight so they can break in and steal your belongings.
"With the latest several days of warm weather we started seeing the signs that our seasonal jump in car break-ins and thefts were kicking into gear at many semi-secluded beach access areas, such as Collins Beach on Sauvie Island," said OSP Sergeant Larry Lucas, supervisor at the St. Helens worksite.
Sergeant Lucas has some simple precautionary advice that can make all the difference between a fun day on the beach and having to spend months trying to get your identity back because someone broke into your car and took your purse or wallet:
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.
  • Do some spring cleaning in your vehicle and remove any unnecessary items. This may also give you a chance to finally get rid of all those expired insurance and old registration cards, and other things cluttering up your vehicle's storage areas!
  • Before leaving your home, take all items out of your glove box and center console, put them in a bag and store it in your trunk.
  • Do not wait until you park before storing property in your trunk - you never know who may be watching.
  • Once you park at your favorite beach access parking area, open the glove box and center console so anyone looking in will see that there is nothing in the car worth breaking in for. This may cause the thief from breaking into your vehicle looking for something that is not usually stored in those areas.
  • Report any suspicious individuals you see loitering in parking areas to law enforcement.
"Throughout the coming summer, don't let someone you don't know ruin your time enjoying the beauty and sights that Oregon has to offer," said Lucas.