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Crime Prevention Tip of the Day and Property Crime in the Foothills on Monday, 12/28.

3 Stolen Vehicles:  200-block of Figueroa, 12000-block of Zia Rd, 3500-block of Britt.

1 Stolen Vehicle left unattended and warming up:  10800-block of Ralph. 

1 Commercial Burglary: 12500-block of Menaul.

6 Residential Burglaries:  200-block of Figueroa, 2700-block of Chelwood Park Blvd NE, 12400-block of Rosemont, 13600-block of Apache Plume Drive, 4000-block of Camino De La Sierra, 11600-block of Academy Ridge.

5 Auto Burglaries: 3500-block of Juan Tabo, 3300-block of Juan Tabo, 3800-block of Camino De La Sierra, 11800-block of Summertree, Juan Tabo/Osuna.

Crime Prevention Tips of the Day:  The warm-up auto thefts are 100% preventable crimes.  The behavior of leaving a vehicle running and walking away is drawing a criminal element onto your block — this is creating dangerous situations for the community/victim as well.  As a community, we have to stop this behavior.  The criminal element is a given — our job as a community is to harden our targets, to deny-delay-deter a criminal from entering or stealing our property and to control our environments to the best of our ability.  The majority of ‘warm-up’ auto thefts are in the early morning hours.  It is easy to spot an idling vehicle in the dark by the obvious plume of exhaust coming from the vehicle.  Don’t put yourself in the dangerous position of an encounter with a person willing to commit a felony.  Thank goodness a child wasn’t in a car seat or a beloved family pet in the car when it was stolen yesterday.  These offenders have been known to attempt to run over victims as well.  Why not just stop the behavior or change it to be safer by bringing your cup of coffee in the vehicle with you while you warm it up or wear an extra sweater until the interior warms up or brush away snow from the vehicle windows without the vehicle running and greatly reduce your odds of being a victim.

I am seeing a trend of residential burglaries with garages as points of entry for the past several weeks.  Check your garage and make sure it closes before you get out of the car and go inside or drive away.  Lock the deadbolt on the door from your garage into your home and make this a non-negotiable habit.  If you are scared of locking yourself inside the garage, hide a key.  Check other doors into the garage (side doors) and make sure they have deadbolt locks and are reinforced with wrap-around strike plates and four screws that go into the frame at least 3 1/2-4 inches.  Does your garage side door have a glass window?  Consider taping butcher or construction paper over the glass to cut off visibility to someone casing the garage for tools and checking vehicles to tell if home owners are home.  There are tricks to restricting access to the red emergency garage door opener cord — these can be ‘fished’ with a hanger or tool if slid through the top of the garage door or through decorative windows at the top of the garage door.  You can disable the garage door and secure the red emergency cord with a cheap $1 zip-tie if you go out of town to secure the garage door.  I use an app on my mobile device that monitors my garage door; check out what’ s on the market and fits your lifestyle — technology advances are making it so easy to secure and monitor our property.

What was stolen yesterday from parked vehicles:  vehicle registration, insurance and other personal paperwork, doggie treats, a Blue Tooth, 2 purses and contents, a cell phone.  Remember the simple prevention tips of 1) locking up, 2) removing all items of value including anything with personal information and garage door openers when you park and walk away.

Have a great week ahead and make it your mission to control your environment and put these simple crime prevention tips into daily life — what you start today will be a habit down the road.  Stay safe!

Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, APD – Foothills Area Command