ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Car break-ins are sweeping across the City of Elmira, impacting neighborhoods that typically don’t experience auto theft, according to the Elmira Police Department.
“It can happen in any neighborhood,” Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz said. “The best thing people can do is to make a conscious effort not to leave any valuables in their vehicle. Just assume that the window can be broken out at any time and if that there’s something in there, it’s going to be grabbed.”
Police tell 18 News the majority of car break-in calls come from the West and South sides of Elmira. However, that’s changing.
“We have seen some migration into different neighborhoods that aren’t typically ones that we receive complaints on,” Alvernaz said. “We’ve had a couple more so you’re thinking in the area of say, Arnot Ogden [Medical Center].”
18 News is also feeling the impacts of the break-ins. On Monday, we captured a video of a stranger wandering our parking lot attempting to open car doors. In one case, he was successful.
Officials say the most important thing you can do is lock your car door and take your valuables with you. If that’s not possible, put them in a secure area, such as the trunk of your vehicle.
If you believe your car has been broken into, do an assessment to see if anything is missing. If something is gone, Elmira Police advise calling them.
“A lot of times we can do field Interviews with individual suspects and we might locate the stolen items on [the suspect] and then we can get the items returned to the owner,” Alvernaz said.