Cops Waking Up Drivers Who Leave Cellphones, GPS And Other Valuables In Their Cars

If you live in Richmond, VA, and have a habit of leaving your phone, GPS device or some other valuable item in your car, don’t be surprised if you’re woken up in the middle of the night by your local police officer.

In an attempt to curb lax behavior that all but invites criminals to steal your stuff, officers in five Richmond neighborhoods are shining their lights at the front and back seats of cars parked on the street between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.

When a cop spots a valuable item out in the open, they will check the registration info for the vehicle to see if the owner lives nearby. If so, the officer will perform a “wake-up call” to let people know their items are just waiting to be stolen.

The police lieutenant behind the initiative understands that some people will not be too thrilled to be rousted out of bed by a police officer at the door, but says, “It is my hope that the officers will explain to the residents the reason for this ‘inconvenient intrusion’ and that the residents will appreciate the reasoning behind it.”

The wake-up call program is a step further than a similar initiative undertaken by police in Beverly, MA, last fall. In that instance, officers checked for cars that had been left unlocked; if they found one, they would lock the doors and leave a warning on the window.

RPD to make “wake up calls” to cut crime []