VENETA, Ore. (KMTR) -- A large spike in car break-ins in the Veneta area has the Lane County Sheriff’s Office warning drivers to take action and now leave anything behind when you’re parked outdoors.
Since March 1st, 2012, the Lane County Sheriff's Office says it has received at least 11 reports of car break-ins in Veneta.
Four of those car break-ins happened around 4th Street and W. Broadway Avenue in downtown Veneta.
The Sheriff’s Office says some of the break-ins have been aggressive too, with thieves smashing windows and using other methods to get in the target car.
LCSO says GPS systems, iPods, cell phones and laptops are being targeted.
The Sheriff’s Office is now urging people to protect themselves by taking everything out of their car and leaving nothing behind when they’re parked.
“Nothing” truly means nothing as well. The Sheriff’s Office is urging people to remove anything and everything including the usual things people leave like iPod radio broadcasters, electronics, charger cables, mail, keys and more.
“A lot of times, what we're seeing is that people are hanging out in parking lots and they're watching people take their laptops, take their cell phone, take their GPS and they're locking it in the trunk in the very parking lot they're leaving it in.. and people see that so, if you must leave something in your vehicle in the trunk, try to place those valuables in there before you park the car there and again lock your doors,” says Sgt. Carrie Carver of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
Veneta is one area with a locally based sheriff's deputy that won't be cut, because he's paid for through a city contract.
Still, for rural car break-ins, LCSO says it typically won’t send a deputy, due to slim resources.
The Sheriff’s Office is urging victims to fill out a report of what happened so that the Office can track break-ins. Some funding sources for public safety in Lane County are dependant on those reports.