NESHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) – Police in Neshannock Township are warning people about smash-and-grab thieves after a series of vehicle break-ins.

Police reported that car windows are being smashed in parking lots such as those at parks and recreational facilities, among others.

The criminals are looking to take items from inside the vehicle, so they warn you not to keep valuables in your car.

Smash-and-grab crimes are usually in connection to a business where a thief breaks through a window, grabs valuables and takes off. It happens with vehicles, too.

According to Nationwide Insurance, car break-ins are typically committed by opportunists. They see something in your car they want, so they break in and steal it.

Never leave these things lying out on your seats, dashboard or floor:

  • Phone 
  • Purse or wallet 
  • Laptop (or its bag)
  • A briefcase or backpack 
  • Shopping bags 
  • An MP3 player or other small electronics 
  • CDs if you still use them
  • Cash – yes, even loose change/coins
  • Your keys – it actually happens!

Keep your car parked in a very visible, well-lit area and park near others.

Always lock your doors and roll up your windows. Window tinting makes it harder to see inside so that’s an option.

Car break-ins have increased over the past few years. Several Valley communities have reported an increase. In some cases, the break-ins are by an organized group and others are individuals.