Gadget theft from cars is skyrocketing, up 30 percent in four years, according to the FBI’s most recent statistics. MSNBC recently visited Paramus, N.J., where local police have set up a task force to deal with the problem.
Paramus Chief of Police Frederick J. Corrubia says that the main reason for the thefts is that gadgets like GPS units and laptops are portable and people fail to secure them in their vehicles.
Evidence of gadgets in cars, such as satellite radio dashboard mounts or chargers, is enough to prompt a break in, according to MSNBC.
To prevent thefts, MSNBC recommends that consumers stash electronics in the trunk or in a purse or backpack and carry gadgets out of the car. Criminals are far less likely to pry open a trunk looking for tech to take, Corrubia says.
"I am seeing a trend shifting from car stereos to more technologically advanced equipment in vehicles: high line MP3 players and navigational systems," says Sgt. Kevin Ahern, Detective Commander in Waterbury, Conn.
Ahern explains that expensive GPS models currently have huge market value on the street.
"In Waterbury we have the busiest pawn shop in New England. Brand new GPS systems come in non stop," he says. In his experience, thieves can extract a GPS dashmount from a vehicle in as little as 30 seconds and can get up to $1,100 for each unit they steal.