Police: Thieves targeting vehicles in Dublin

File Photo - Dublin Police (Credit: City of Dublin)

Police in Dublin are urging people to lock their vehicles and remove all valuables after a recent series of car break-ins.

Police said between Friday night and Monday morning, about 20 people reported thieves gained access to their vehicles and stole anything of value. Police said at least half the victims left their vehicles unlocked.

In other cases, thieves smashed windows to gain access. The crimes occurred in the areas of Baronscourt Way and Baronscourt Loop, Traquair Place, Royal Plume Drive, and the 54-hundred block of Avery Road.

Police said despite the recent series of vehicle break-ins, it appears people living in Dublin are growing more vigilant about protecting their property.

Police said so far this year, thefts from vehicles are down 45 percent. Police say in 2018, officers have arrested about 10 people for breaking into cars, and say in most cases, the suspects were funding a drug addiction.

"We've seen time and time again, there are people right now, I can tell you, they get up in the morning and their number one job is to go out and steal enough things so they can pay for their drugs for that day," said Dublin Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg.

He said thieves will even target loose change.

"They spend their entire night taking change out of ashtrays and cup holders and they've told us they can make $50 to $150 dollars just collecting change," said Chief von Eckartsberg.

He said police encourage vehicle owners to lock up, remove all valuables, and if you park on the street or in your driveway, be sure to remove garage door openers that could ultimately give crooks access to your home.

"The number one, simplest thing you can do to prevent yourself from being a victim of crime is just don't leave anything in your car that can be seen," said Chief von Eckartsberg.