NEW CANAAN — New Canaan Police are cautioning residents to protect their cars and homes after a rash of car break-ins in town.

On April 12, police said car break-ins had been reported in the area of White Oak Shade Road. Police also said neighboring towns, such as Darien, have also seen entries into unlocked cars left outside overnight. Vehicles are also being stolen because residents are leaving their keys in their unlocked cars.

Police urge residents to lock their vehicles and not leave valuables inside.

Additional safety tips from police:

1. Be a good neighbor: Report suspicious persons or vehicles immediately to our Department via 203-594-3500 or via 911 if you see a crime in progress. Crime prevention is the best cure.

2. Do not leave valuables or financial information in your car: Never leave valuables, a purse, wallet or financial information in your car-even just for a few minutes. Thieves often watch vehicles and strike when you leave your vehicle only for a few minutes.

3. Keys: Never leave the keys to your home or car inside a vehicle or in a place where a thief can find them. Keys placed in “secret” hiding places may invite a crime. Thieves know where to look for hidden keys.

4. Light up your home: At night, keep the perimeter of your home well lit. Low energy lighting switched on and off by photoelectric sensors (low light switches) is a cost-effective way to discourage thieves. Often thefts from vehicles occur in residential driveways.

5. Lock up: Always lock all doors and windows of your vehicle whenever you leave it, even for a short time.

6. Park in well-lit, public areas: Avoid parking your vehicle in isolated areas where there is not much traffic. Thefts in New Canaan often occur in parking lots or areas of our parks that are isolated.

7. Use your alarm system: Always activate your alarm system, even when you are at home, and whenever you leave your house or vehicle—even for a short time. Many successful thefts that occur in our Town involve houses or vehicles that have alarm systems that were not activated.

Be better informed, connected, and send anonymous tips to our Department by downloading the “MYPD” application in the iPhone or Android marketplace. After downloading the application search for “New Canaan” and get connected.