NEW BEDFORD - New Bedford Police are issuing a warning after a woman's laptop and other personal items were stolen from her car Wednesday evening.

Police Lt. Amos Melo says the woman had parked her car at Union Street and Acushnet Avenue around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, and returned an hour later to find her passenger side window smashed in and her handbag missing.

Her car was locked at the time of the break.

Lt. Melo says it was a crime of opportunity. "It's a quick smash and grab. The thief sees it. He or she can get it within a couple of seconds, and they're off before anyone even knows," said Lt. Melo.

The handbag had been left on the passenger's seat. Melo says he believes if the bag had been hidden from plain sight, the woman's car would not have been broken into.

Lt. Melo urges residents not only to lock their car doors, but take the time to hide valuables.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact New Bedford Police at 508-991-6350 or the anonymous tip line at 508-992-7463 or e-mail tip@newbedfordpd.com.