Tax Time and New Types of Theft Targets: How to Prevent! Tax time is here. The time for filing fraudulent returns, stealing W-2s and hard-copy refunds from the IRS, the time when personal information is left unsecured by potential victims of thieves and fraudsters. I am seeing repeat activity in the Foothills Area Command of IRS documents and related personal information being stolen from parked vehicles. The need to secure these important documents is paramount to prevent the initial crime, whether residential or auto burglary, but the ‘snowball’ of crime that can follow: fraud, forgery, identity theft, filing false tax returns. It is critical to keep these pieces of paper/information in a secured location — not in a parked vehicle. I learned at a recent workshop on identity theft that the average time for a victim to clear up identity theft’s damage is about two years of having a full time job, and the burden in these types of crimes is placed on the victim for resolution. Don’t let this happen to you by leaving critical documents in an unsecured area or vehicle. If you have a tax preparation business, it is just as crucial for you to maintain customer and business records/personal information in a secured location and not out where these items can be seen by visitors or be stolen in a commercial burglary.
Passover and Auto Burglary? Yes, they can go together! When parked at places of worship remember to bring the garage door opener, vehicle registration and insurance paperwork with you. These are frequently stolen in auto burglaries and used to figure out where the victim lives and commit a residential burglary. Remember that the garage door opener is a key to the biggest door to your home — the garage door! Leave nothing of value in your vehicle when you park and walk away. Clean out the vehicle and take a few minutes to determine if what you are leaving in the vehicle is essential to your errand. Vehicles parked at places of worship are targets due to vast parking lots and knowing a potential victim will be in a building for at least an hour. Lock up, check windows to make sure they are rolled up, leave nothing visible (even spare change in the center console) or of value in the vehicle and do not attempt to ‘hide’ a purse under the passenger/driver seat.
Property Crime in the Foothills on Monday, April 11, 2016:
3 Stolen Vehicles: 12600-block of Cloudview Dr NE, two at the same location on the 10700-block of Academy Rd NE.
1 Commercial Burglary: 4500-block of Bali Ct NE.
1 Residential Burglary: 11100-block of Claremont NE.
5 Auto Burglaries: 400-block of Western Skies SE (also an attempt made to steal the vehicle), 15000-block of Central Ave NE, 5800-block of Eubank Blvd NE (also an attempt made to steal the vehicle), 10700-block of Academy Rd NE, 5900-block of Tierra Antigua NE.
Share these tips with your family, friends, neighbors and worship community! We want people to be aware and know how to prevent being a victim of auto burglary and other types of crimes.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command