As colder weather draws near, the Hilliard Division of Police is reminding residents to reduce crimes of opportunity because would-be thieves don't have an offseason.

"We say it a lot, but it never hurts to keep reminding people to prevent creating crimes of opportunity," Sgt. Kris Settles said.

Although Settles said police have not observed a discernible uptick in thefts from motor vehicles -- or thefts of motor vehicles -- he advises residents to remain vigilant.

"Don't leave cars unlocked or valuable items in sight," Settles said.

Several recent police reports have recorded thefts from unlocked vehicles.

Although some criminals will make the effort to break a vehicle's window or ransack it, a greater number are looking for the ease of opening an unlocked door and taking items in plain sight, Settles said.

Another easy opportunity for thieves is a vehicle left idling in a driveway on a cold morning.

Despite the relative unlikeliness and the convenience to do so, Settles said, vehicle owners need to eliminate the chance of the vehicle being stolen by not leaving it idling or leaving spare keys anywhere inside the vehicle.

"A few simple steps can stop these crimes of opportunity," he said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo