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Firearms: Are Yours Secured? Can a criminal access your gun? Property Crime from Wed. 4/20/16

Firearms are being stolen at a high rate in the Foothills Area Command — Are you leaving a firearm in a parked vehicle?  Are you leaving home forgetting or not thinking about securing your firearms?  Yesterday 8 firearms were stolen during 2 incidents of burglary (one auto, one residential).  If you didn’t get into the May ‘Workshop Wednesday at the Foothills’ on Gun Safety for Families (FULL), please start researching ways to properly secure your firearms. Responsible gun ownership includes teaching your children about guns, proper storage of guns and ammo.  Remember:  eight guns that were left unsecured are now in criminals’ hands.  Protect yourself, your family, your community, your police officers by adopting methods to secure your guns when not using them.

Property Crime in the Foothills on Wednesday, April 20th:

1 Car Jacking:  13500-block of Deer Trail NE.

2 Robberies (Commercial):  300-block of Eubank Blvd SE, 13300-block of Central NE.

6 Residential Burglaries:  2000-block of Martha NE, 12600-block of Lomas Blvd NE, 12500-block of Crestline NE, 13100-block of Della Longa Lane NE, 9900-block of Spain Rd NE, 5000-block of Arroyo Chamisa NE.

6 Auto Burglaries: 1800-block of Conestoga SE, two vehicles at separate addresses on the 1100-block of Bernalillo Pl SE, 1400-block of Stagecoach Rd SE, 12000-block of Copper NE, 1500-block of Tramway Blvd NE.

Property Crimes on Wednesday:  How are criminals making entry to homes?  Removing window screens and then breaking or opening unlocked household windows, kicking in back doors to homes, breaking windows with rocks at homes. Check your screens to make sure they are secure, in good shape and lock your windows.  First floor windows and sliding glass doors should have additional locks/mechanisms to prevent lifting or sliding the window out of the tracks.  Check doors for gaps (houses settle and throw off the locks), see about double-cylinder locks and good quality deadbolts.  Never leave house and car keys hanging by a window or glass panel — if the glass is broken, normal reaching distance is 46 inches.  The screws for strike plates should be at least 3 1/2″ long, doing deep into the frame.  There are also wrap-around strike plates on the market for added toughness.  Doors should always be solid core or metal with an eye viewer.  The best deterrent is a good check around the house, looking at the home from across the street and searching for vulnerabilities in fencing, landscaping, lighting, repair issues, and of course — Neighborhood Watch!

How to encourage an auto burglar to bypass your vehicle?  Park in a secured garage.  Not possible?  Check into alarm systems, driveway alert sensors, good lighting, and if need be, trim shrubs and bushes to open up sight lines for potential witnesses.  If you have room, park on a side strip at your home behind a well-lit secured gated area that can’t be climbed or jumped over.  Leave nothing of value — including personal documents — inside the vehicle.  Do you keep spare house and other vehicle keys and garage door openers inside the vehicle?  You’ve just provided a thief with a way into your home if your vehicle is burglarized.  Combined with the registration and insurance, the thief now has information on where you live and a way to get inside. 

What was stolen in 24 hours in the Foothills from parked vehicles?  A gun, a briefcase, IRS/tax documents, Social Security cards, vehicle registration, vehicle insurance documents, sunglasses and a vehicle’s ignition was damaged — a sign of an attempt to steal the vehicle.  Control your environment and start thinking about what you leave inside a parked, unattended vehicle and edit down what’s in the car.  We have auto theft prevention material on line on the City of Albuquerque web site at in the Crime Prevention section and there have been many advances in devices since that material was written — any computer search can provide you with lots of information and consumer reviews to make good choices about what works for your lifestyle and your budget.

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