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Keeping tabs on your car - Cops offer safeguarding tips

Take commonsense precautions to keep your car and its contents safe.

That was the advice offered by officers from the 70th Precinct to members of the Nottingham Association, gathered at Public School 193, Avenue L and Bedford Avenue, for their September meeting.

While crime is generally down across the precinct, said Police Officer Scott Nuzzi, the area’s new beat cop, one problem within the Nottingham area is car break-ins. The perpetrators are after such auto-related items as GPS systems and tires, as well as laptop computers or handbags left carelessly within view, Nuzzi said.

Dealing with the car break-ins means taking sensible steps. Sergeant Eddie Kraemer, who joined Nuzzi at the meeting, suggested that, when you take your GPS off your windshield, you take the suction cup off, as well. You should also clean the marks left by the suction cup – they can be an easy tip-off to a prospective burglar, he said. “If you do that,” stressed Kraemer, “it really helps.

“There are certain things you can’t stop,” Kraemer added. “But there are certain things that can be sort of prevented. Don’t leave your laptop in the back seat.” The same logic applies to other valuables, such as purses and cameras, said Kraemer.

Police Officer Deanna Robbins, the 70th Precinct’s crime prevention officer, concurred. “Don’t leave your registration and insurance card in your glove box,” she told the group. “If someone breaks in and steals your car, they will have all your personal information and they are going to sell it. Identity theft is huge, so it’s adding more to the crime.”

In addition, advised Robbins, if you’ve been shopping and you head to another store, don’t transfer bags from the back seat to the trunk in view of passersby. “Don’t you think there are guys watching, who say, I’m going to hit that car?” asked Robbins.

As the beat cop, he will focus on chronic problems, stressed Nuzzi. “Your complaints are my complaints,” he told the group, urging them to call him with any non-emergency issues that might arise. “It doesn’t matter how small it is,” he promised. “I’m going to straighten it out in a heartbeat.”

But, he added, area residents can help him as well as themselves by keeping an eye out for each other. “The biggest thing is your neighbors,” he stressed. “Take care of each other. Watch out for each other. A little more knowledge helps me help you.”

Nuzzi can be reached at 718-851-5556.

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