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Chief: electronic devices attract thieves

By Alex Ross

Staff Intern

HOLYOKE - A public advisory statement urging those with such electronic devices as radar detectors, GPS navigation systems, and satellite radios in their vehicles to take steps to prevent break-ins, was released by Police Chief Anthony R. Scott last Monday.

Recently there has been an increase in car break-ins that involve the theft of such devices in such areas as at and around the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside, Scott said. Many of these devices are commonly found resting on dashboards and within clear view of potential thieves.

Bill Rogalski, the General Manager of the Holyoke Mall insists there isn't an increase in car break-ins in general at the Mall, but that new electronics installed in parked cars that are left unattended can attract the attention of thieves.

"[There is] no increase in incidents," said Rogalski. "This just seems to be the target of choice."

Many such devices, said Holyoke Police Detective Larry Cournoyer, are often plugged into a car cigarette lighter plug, and that drivers should disconnect them when not in their vehicles and store them in a place out of view such as in a glove compartment or trunk.

Scott, in his public advisory statement urged that on e of the best ways to prevent a vehicle break-in, is to keep such devices off of dashboards.

"By storing these items out of the sight of the wandering eyes of criminals you are eliminating a crime of opportunity."