By Steve Thomas

Observer Nevis Editor

(Charlestown, Nevis) – A spike in car break-ins has a ranking police official urging drivers to be more careful with their possessions and to take some common-sense precautions to safeguard against theft.

“If you’re going to be out of your car, take it with you,” Inspector Hilroy Brandy of the Royal St. Kitts-Nevis Police said. Inspector Brandy is head of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Nevis Branch. “The things we tell the public not to do, but they keep doing it.”

Any driver who leaves something of value that can be seen in a car, “you’re creating an opportunity for someone to break in,” Inspector Brandy said.

In the last two weeks of March, police received six reports of car break-ins. The incidents took place in Charlestown and at the medical university.

If a driver can’t take an item with them when they leave the car, the next best thing they can do is lock it in the vehicle’s trunk so it’s out of sight, he said.

In addition to being more careful with items in cars, Inspector Brandy said people should take steps to better safeguard their businesses or residences.

Some steps are simple. For instance, don’t leave a ladder in the yard. Thieves use ladders to gain entry into homes through windows. Drums are also used by housebreakers to reach up to windows.

“If you have a ladder, lock it up inside. If you can’t lock it up inside, chain it to something,” Inspector Brandy said.

It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving bricks or other materials outside that can be used to break out windows.

Another option is to use cameras and alarms.

The use of cameras at one store led to the arrest of the person who broke in, Inspector Brandy said.

“Use technology to your advantage. You can have more security,” Inspector Brandy said.