The Sedalia Police Department has responded to several vehicle-related thefts throughout the city, recently. Sedalia authorities are offering tips on how citizens can protect themselves and their property.

According to a post on the Sedalia Police Department's Facebook page, some of the Items that have been stolen recently, include money, credit cards, checkbooks, clothing, and gun. Sedalia Police are offering the following tips to help citizens stay safe:

1. Always lock your vehicle. The way thieves tend to operate, is by walking down streets at night checking for vehicles that are unlocked. Locked vehicles are hardly ever broken into because breaking into them causes noise and generally draws attention. Unlocked vehicles are an easy target as it doesn’t really make a sound to open and close the door.

2. Be a responsible gun owner. Take your gun out of your car at night, especially if you leave your vehicle doors unlocked. As a gun owner, you should take steps to ensure that the gun that you own is never used to hurt people without cause. If someone steals your gun, there is no telling when or who it could be used on. There are always people in the market to buy stolen firearms, as they cannot legally obtain them.

3. Call us if you see something. Be aware of what’s happening outside of your house when you're awake at night. If you get up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, look out on your street to see if you notice anyone walking down the street looking into vehicles, or trying door handles. Police officers are patrolling neighborhoods at night, however it’s sometimes easier for the thieves to see the Police coming, than it is for the Police to see them, which gives them time to hide. Having citizens call the police station helps officers know that there is a possible thief in the area, and increases the chances of apprehending them.

4. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. Thieves are looking for easy targets that will net them a quick return by selling, pawning, or using the items. Leaving credit cards, debit cards, check books, social security cards, wallets, and purses in an unlocked vehicle makes it easy for a thief to steal someone's identity. Not leaving valuables in your vehicle reduces the amount of money you are out, if a theft should occur. If you do leave valuables in your vehicle and lock your door, leave those valuables out of sight so your vehicle doesn’t look as appealing.

If you notice any suspicious activity in the area, call the Sedalia Police Department at 827-7823.

Ryan Skaith