Wilton editorials: Lock your cars, don’t feed the animals

A Canada Goose watches her goslings at the edge of the Norwalk River next to Cannon Grange Hall.

A Canada Goose watches her goslings at the edge of the Norwalk River next to Cannon Grange Hall.

Patricia Gay/Hearst Connecticut

Lock it or lose it — it’s a warning from a few years ago that is still applicable today.

The past nine days have seen 12 cars entered into on quiet Wilton streets. They occur in clusters, so it’s pretty obvious they are connected. There have also been three stolen cars.

This kind of crime happens periodically but that is no comfort to the people who are victimized.

With so many vehicle burglaries just this month, Wilton is far above the 15 incidents for the first half of 2019. It may even be higher, since people who don’t suffer a loss when their car is entered may not bother to report it.

As for stolen cars, there were seven in all of 2019, compared to eight so far this year.

Wilton is not the only town being targeted. The same thing is going on in New Canaan, Darien, Ridgefield and Westport. Westport police report investigating 10 stolen vehicles between May and July, all of which were left unlocked with keys inside. This is basically an invitation to steal.

These have been stressful times, and it is not unusual for someone to leave a loose credit card inside a car after using it at a drive-thru or gas pump. But it is imperative that you lock your car whenever you leave it, day or night, in a parking lot or in your driveway. When you leave your car, don’t leave anything of value in sight. Even if you leave your car for only a few minutes. A video posted on the Wilton police Facebook page shows two men checking out two unlocked cars in less than a minute.

And if you leave your car in your driveway overnight, take a gander and make sure nothing of value is in it, even hidden, because thieves will check the glove box, center console and under the seats. In New Canaan people lost golf clubs, laptops, jewelry and other items.

If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911. You may save yourself, as well as your neighbor, from becoming a victim of crime.

Don’t feed them

Bears, geese and other wild animals. Don’t do it. Don’t do it on purpose and don’t do it by accident.

As suburbanites we value our proximity to wildlife. And we should.

But it’s worth remembering that some wild animals — bears, for instance, or bobcats, which have also returned to the area, and also coyotes — really can be dangerous.

Earlier this year a bear here was the suspected culprit in the mauling of a miniature horse.

Bears, coyotes and bobcats are meat-eating predators and if we leave them alone they can actually be beneficial. Coyotes and bobcats in particular eat the vermin we don’t want in our homes. But we don’t want to come face to face with them. We need to take the fact they can be dangerous seriously.

As for geese, Canada geese who call Wilton home are a nuisance. One of the easiest ways to discourage them is to not feed them. Sure, the goslings are cute, but they grow up to be very large birds who can be quite intimidating, especially if they are chasing you, hissing and flapping their wings.

Feeding geese not only attracts them to an area, but keeps them there. Feeding also conditions the birds to lose their fear of humans. In addition, it’s just not healthy for them.

Feeding geese or ducks low-quality foods, such as bread, chips, or popcorn, does not provide them with the nutrients they need for survival. Feeding them can result in their becoming malnourished, making them more suceptible to physical defects and easier targets for predators.

Stopping the goose gravy train will be better for all involved — humans and birds.

Enjoy all these animals from a distance and let them live their lives without human interference.