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Daily Crime Prevention Tips and Property Crime in the Foothills on Tuesday, 01/05/16

1 Car Jacking: 900-block of Eubank Blvd NE.

1 Vehicle Stolen with Left Unattended and Warming Up: 500-block of Sandler NE.

3 Commercial Burglaries: 200-block of Dorado SE (10 separate at one location), 400-block of Western Skies SE, 11500-block of Menaul Blvd NE.

5 Auto Burglaries: 700-block of Glacier Bay SE, 11000-block of Vistazo Place SE, 900-block of Ram Trail SE, two separate incidents at same location on 1500-block of Eubank Blvd NE.

Crime Prevention Tips of the Day: Let’s begin with the car jacking.  This is the first one in quite some time in the Foothills.  A few of the things I can offer to you are:  if you feel unsafe or the place you are patronizing doesn’t feel right — leave.  You can always go back another time of day, another day, with a buddy, when people are on site.  If the destination doesn’t feel like a safe place at all — call the management and let them know their customer is afraid to visit their place of business. Ask if they would provide better lighting, high quality resolution security cameras, perhaps a buzz-in entry system for exterior ATMs and an emergency call button if inside an enclosed/glassed in type of setting, a courtesy patrol, etc.  Another tip I would offer is to avoid further victimization, if you are in the unfortunate situation of being car jacked — let the vehicle go.  Do not attempt to hold on to the vehicle or climb in the bed if it’s a truck being car jacked — the risk of serious injury or death far outweighs the loss of a vehicle.  Keep as little in your vehicle as possible — travel light and only carry what you need to complete your errand and try to keep those items in a pocket or fanny pack (driver’s license/credit or debit card, small amount of cash, cell phone, etc).  Also, many people who are victims of these types of crimes say ‘the offender/he/she just came out of nowhere.’  Scan the area before you even consider exiting your vehicle.  Look for anyone loitering or who appears to have no legitimate business being there.  No one really comes from out of nowhere, we just need to sharpen our situational awareness skills to be better at detecting who is around us and what they are doing.  I hope I’ve provided you with some good, practical tips to put into place today.

A few words on the ‘warm up’ auto theft:  stop doing this!  I know my readers are already savvy about this, but help me help our community by spreading the word.  We never want to blame the victim, but this type of crime is one of the very few that is actually 100% preventable.  It’s a shame to have your world turned upside down by an auto theft, but this type of auto theft is particularly bothersome to a crime prevention professional because the average citizen doesn’t realize it is 1) dangerous to anyone left in the car when it is stolen (children, pets, etc), 2) usually involves a loss of more than just the vehicle — your personal items that were in the car at the time of theft like purses, wallets, IDs, registration/insurance, personal papers that can be used to commit ID theft and fraud/forgery, and 3) this attracts a criminal element to your block as an ‘easy pickin’s’ location to steal a vehicle with low risk to the offender. 

A few notes about the auto burglaries yesterday:  Of the 5 committed, 1 vehicle was left unlocked, 1 vehicle’s door lock was damaged to gain entry and the remaining 3 of 5 were all ‘smash & grabs’ which means vehicle windows were broken by offenders to get into the vehicle.  Of the 5 cases, 2 were at the same commercial location and the rest were all at residences.  What was left behind in vehicles for criminals to steal yesterday?  Small change left in the center console, vehicle registration and insurance paperwork, a purse and driver’s license, and ID.  Don’t risk an auto burglary by leaving anything of value inside a parked vehicle and leave nothing visible.  Lock up and park in a spot with good lighting, good sight lines and with passers by whose presence could make a criminal think twice.   Your goal is to deter, delay and deny:  the first two are possible with good crime prevention measures and the we try our best for denial of entry.  If you make it harder and riskier for a criminal, your odds go way down of being their victim.

Stay safe everyone, have a great day.

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