Your vehicle has been broken into, now what?

Posted at 6:25 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 18:47:07-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Criminals and thieves don't stop at city lines, and in Chesapeake, vehicle break-ins are on the rise.

While no one ever wants to be the victim of a crime, it is important to know what steps to take just in case. First, call police and file a report.

Police said an officer typically won't respond on-scene unless there is forensic evidence left behind or items totaling more than $2,000 stolen.

"If high-value items were taken, we'll send an officer," said Senior Police Officer for the Chesapeake Police Department Leo Kosinski. "If there is any evidence left on scene; if there was some type of glove left behind; if there was any type of tool, a screwdriver or hammer, that the suspect may have used to break a window or force their way into a door that could leave fingerprints or anytime there are bodily fluids left behind."

If you file a report with police and then want a physical copy, you may have to pay out of pocket in some jurisdictions. In Norfolk and Chesapeake you have to pay a small fee, while in Portsmouth it is free. Officers said it goes towards an administrative fee for staff members to search for the records, retrieve them and make copies.

Even if nothing was taken from your vehicle, police said it is still important for you to report it. Detectives collect all incidents reported by residents to help with crime statistics in each neighborhood.

Kosinski said one of the best ways for people in Chesapeake to stay connected with what's happening is on the Nextdoor app. In the whole city, they have about 40,000 people keeping up with and reporting crime.

The department urges people to lock their car doors every night, roll their windows up and not leave loose items on the seats. Take your valuables inside with you. Just in case you accidentally forget to lock your car because you were in a hurry, it was raining, your hands were full or whatever reason; if your valuables are not in your vehicle, they can’t be stolen.

Kosinski said the department sees an uptick in vehicle break-ins during the summer months and holiday season.