Residents in the Long Hill Avenue area were advised to lock their cars in their driveways and keep valuables out of the sight of potential thieves. \u201cI\u2019ve never seen something stolen from a car trunk,\u201d Sgt. Michael Lawrence told about 75 people who attended a crime prevention meeting organized in the neighborhood by the Shelton Police Department. Police said people should not leave keys in their cars or keep lawn equipment outside at night. \u201cYou always want to make it difficult for property to be taken,\u201d Sgt. George Rodrigues said. \u201cTake some precautions and you\u2019re less likely to be victims,\u201d Lawrence said. The Oct. 23 meeting at Long Hill School was held to offer crime prevention tips and discuss the idea of forming a formal Neighborhood Watch program. 'Huge spike' in car larcenies Police said there usually are eight or so larcenies a month in Shelton, but that number has jumped to about 30 in October. Up to half of those larcenies took place in the Long Hill School area, with \u201ca huge spike\u201d over a two-week period, they said. The kind of items being taken are GPS systems, laptop computers, cameras, wallets, and cash. Most of the car larcenies have taken place at night, but some have been during the day. Arrests possible The good news is that a couple of people have been identified as suspects and may be arrested soon, police Chief Joel Hurliman said. \u201cMy guess is they weren\u2019t the only ones out there, so don\u2019t let your guard down,\u201d Hurliman said. A larceny is when someone steals something without force or breaking anything, such as a window in a house or car. Larceny is usually a crime of opportunity. \u201cThey don\u2019t want to spend a lot of time there,\u201d Rodrigues said of criminals. \u201cThey want to steal things and leave.\u201d Look for suspicious behavior Residents were told to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, such as people walking and driving by their homes who appear to be casing out the property. They were advised to call the police\u2019s main number at 203-924-1544 when they see something suspicious, and officers would follow up on the matter. \u201cIf it\u2019s nothing, that\u2019s OK,\u201d Rodrigues said. People should call 9-1-1 only in an actual emergency, such as if they are witnessing a crime. People should not directly confront those acting suspiciously, but instead call the police. Some other recommendations are to install motion detector lights on the outside of houses, and not let shrubs cover ground-floor windows. Public has a role to play One message of the meeting was to encourage people to get involved, with officials noting police can\u2019t be everywhere. \u201cWe can\u2019t do it alone,\u201d Lawrence said. \u201cWe need your help.\u201d Mayor Mark Lauretti told residents that crime problems have surfaced in other neighborhoods in the past, and the public\u2019s active involvement has been key to improving the situation. \u201cGovernment and the police can\u2019t protect you all the time,\u201d Lauretti said. \u201cThe way we deal with the problem is we solicit the help of the public.\u201d Lauretti lives in the neighborhood, and a personal car of his was stolen from his driveway in late July and eventually recovered in New Haven. Speeding also is a neighborhood concern Residents also used the meeting to complain about people driving too fast. \u201cThe speeding that goes on in our neighborhood is atrocious,\u201d said one woman, noting she recently observed two accidents, including one in which a car flipped over. Residents suggested using the temporary signs that show a driver\u2019s speed and putting in speed bumps. Lauretti agreed that speeding can be a problem in many parts of Shelton. \u201cIt\u2019s one of the top complaints I get,\u201d he said at the meeting.