Looting, and even stealing, of unlocked cars - singularly, in lots, even throughout neighborhoods - stopped being an anomaly at the shore years ago. It escalates during holidays, and it hasn't escaped the attention of Brick Township police.

Anti-theft reminder (Brick Township PD)

Before a car-burglary spree erupts, Brick PD Captain Neal Pederson issues a reminder that has value in any community - hide what's inside, lock it up and don't forget your keys.

Pederson attributes the increase in reports in his township to crimes of opportunity - unlocked doors and possessions inside, practically saying, "Hey, over here!" to anyone with trouble in mind.

And, as gratfying as it feels to leave stores with bunches of bags of gifts for your family and friends, keep your peripheral vision honed for anyone watching you amble to the car. It isn't too hard to fence a brand-new item, still in the box.

Your holiday is going to stay happy, if you're not a theft statistic!

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