Willimantic police are urging residents to avoid leaving running vehicles unattended and keeping valuables in plain sight after several car thefts and auto break-ins in town in the last two months.
Police said several cars have been stolen as the owners went inside their homes and left the cars running and unattended while warming them up.
The thefts have happened in the late night or early morning hours.
An employee of a local business provided police with enough information to identify several suspects and arrests are pending, police said.
But officers are urging people to protect themselves by taking the following steps:
Never leave your vehicle running when you are not inside, even for a few minutes. One vehicle is stolen in the United States every 26.4 seconds, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Always lock your car.
Don’t leave anything in plain view inside your vehicle, including loose change.
Keep your eyes out for potential thieves in daylight hours and in large parking lots.
If you are the victim of a car theft or break-in, immediately report it to police to increase the chances of catching the perpetrator.