The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department and Cornell University Police Department have both warned of recent spates of car break-ins around the Ithaca area, and vandals have added tire slashing to the mix.
Early in April, the Sheriff’s Department said they’d “received numerous complaints throughout the county of larcenies from vehicles” that were parked on streets or in driveways overnight. “If you leave your vehicle parked outside, lock the vehicle and do not leave items of value inside the vehicle,” warned officials.
At the time, Ithaca police hadn’t seen a “noticeable increase since late February, when there were multiple vehicle break-ins,” according to IPD public information officer Jamie Williamson. Recent vehicle larcenies have also included a backpack stolen from an open convertible at the Panera Bread parking lot in Ithaca’s southwest.
Last week, Cornell Police said they were investigating “a series of thefts from vehicles parked at Hasbrouck Apartments,” a Cornell-owned complex on Pleasant Grove Road that’s geared toward graduate students with families. “Sometime during the evening hours of April 24 and the early morning hours of April 25, an unknown person or persons entered five parked vehicles and stole cash, electronic devices and other personal items,” according to CUPD.
This weekend, vandals slashed tires on a vehicle parked overnight in a private parking lot on West State Street, just a block west of the Commons. It’s one of a few such incidents reported recently, and a crime that’s harder to protect against — leaving the car locked and valuables out of sight doesn’t help.
The Sheriff’s Department urges area residents to call 607-272-2444 “if you observe suspicious activity in your neighborhood.” CUPD suggests dialing 911 “to immediately report any suspected criminal activity.”