SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — After responding to 18 smash-and-grab burglaries in about a month, Southington police urge the public to protect their cars from burglaries.

The smash-and-grab burglaries have happened to locked vehicles with valuables left visible through the windows, police said. These crimes can often be prevented by locking a car and keeping valuable items hidden.

“These are ultimately crimes of opportunity,” said Lt. Keith Egan of the Southington Police Department. “They go into the parking lot, scan through cars, they see something. This crime happens in under 30 seconds.”

Southington police provided the dates and locations of the 18 smash-and-grab burglaries from August through Sept. 19.

  • 9/17 at Sliders on Route 10
  • 9/15 at Hollywood on Route 10
  • 8/23 at Planet Fitness on Route 10
  • 8/21 at a residence
  • 8/21 at a residence
  • 8/9 at Planet Fitness on Route 10
  • 8/7 at LiveWell Alzheimer’s center on Route 10
  • 8/7 at LiveWell Alzheimer’s center on Route 10
  • 8/7 at LiveWell Alzheimer’s center on Route 10
  • 8/7 at LiveWell Alzheimer’s center on Route 10
  • 8/7 at LiveWell Alzheimer’s center on Route 10
  • 8/7 at Walmart on Route 10
  • 8/7 at Homewood Suites
  • 8/5 at Hartford HealthCare
  • 8/5 at Bob’s Furniture on Route 10
  • 8/5 at Bob’s Furniture on Route 10
  • 8/5 at Bob’s Furniture on Route 10
  • 8/5 at Planet Fitness on Route 10

No word yet if police have identified any suspects in the burglaries. Southington police released three photos of the suspect vehicle involved in the incidents along Route 10.

“There was a time most vehicle burglaries happened overnight,” Egan said. “It was a trend for a long time, but now they happen all the time. I don’t want people to become complacent that they don’t happen during the day.”

The Southington Police Department shared these tips with the community:

  • Lock your doors
  • Secure your vehicle (rolling windows up all the way and engaging a car alarm)
  • Keep your vehicle tidy
  • Conceal valuable items (stow electronics and accessories well out of sight, or take them with you)
  • Stash before you park (hide items in the trunk of your car before arriving at your destination)
  • Park smart (park in busy, well-lit areas and avoid concealment from larger vehicles, fences, or foliage)

Anyone who witnesses a crime of suspicious activity, such as vehicle theft or a break-in in progress, is asked to call 911 immediately. If possible, provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible, such as the location, a suspect description, and a direction to go if the suspect flees.