A spate of 20 car burglaries has Bangor Police warning residents to keep their belongings secured.

I've fallen victim to this type of crime twice. The first time, they got a $5 car clock  and a (considerably more expensive) bottle of Tide. I didn't even realize it had happened until I went to do laundry and the detergent wasn't in my car. That burglary happened in the parking lot of a Bangor apartment complex. The second time was outside the radio station, early in the morning, as we were all working upstairs. I didn't lose anything (because there was nothing in the car worth stealing), but noticed the intrusion immediately when I saw a can of soda on the floor, instead of in the cup holder.

Bangor Police have a few tips on how to avoid falling victim to this type of crime:

Lock Your Doors - Police call these crimes of opportunity. In other words, if the opportunity doesn't present itself, the crime won't happen. So, the best defense against falling victim is to take away the opportunity by keeping your doors locked. And not just when you're out in public. It's as important to lock your doors in your driveway, even when you're home and awake. You could be sitting in your living room, watching Jimmy Fallon, and someone could be stealing the stuff from your car. These people will walk from driveway to driveway, looking for vehicles that are unlocked. If the door's are all locked, they'll move on to the next house.

Hide or Remove Your Valuables - Another thing you can do is to take valuables out of your vehicle, if you can. If you can't take them with you, like shopping bags on an excursion, hide them out of sight. Consider putting your packages in the trunk, instead of leaving them on the seat. While the crooks will rifle through your vehicle as much as they can without being too obvious, if they see a car with nothing in plain site, they might just pass it by.

Don't Park in Dark Spaces - Whenever you can, park in well-lit areas, like under street lights. No crook wants to be seen rummaging through your vehicle.

Remove the Most Desired Loot - Car burglars are fond of certain items, like wallets, credit cards, and cash. They'll also take electronics, packages, mail that looks like it could contain money, and, apparently, laundry detergent. Keeping these items out of your vehicle, or hidden from site, could help discourage them from choosing your vehicle to rob.

Check Your Surveillance Footage - Many people have surveillance cameras, these days, so if you find footage of criminal activity, the Bangor Police would like to know about it. Just call dispatch at 207-947-7384 to report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

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