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Welcome the Foothills’ Newest Neighborhood Watch Group / Property Crime on Tues and Tips to Be Safer

Welcome the Foothills Area Command’s newest Neighborhood Watch group:  Thank you to Jane and the neighbors on the 2900-block of Jane Court NE for a fun gathering and for forming a Neighborhood Watch group.  This group of neighbors is motivated!  They are already thinking of National Night Out, meeting neighboring Neighborhood Watch members down the block and encouraging the other end of Jane Court NE across the street from them to start a Neighborhood Watch as well.  This is how it’s done — maximizing your connections with each other, forming bonds with neighbors, and when you add some basic crime prevention lessons to the mix great things can happen!  This block is also in the process of booking a group crime prevention lesson (CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) with a “Walk the Block with Jill” session. 

These groups are citizen-driven and survive and thrive based on the support they provide to each other and the Block Captain.  Neighborhood Watch is not about forming patrols, chasing people, or confrontation:  the groups thrive on learning a little basic crime prevention, seeing the tool box provided by APD of ways to get involved, and reporting suspicious or criminal activity to APD from a safe place and then informing the Block Captain.

One spark can get an entire block on fire with enthusiasm and an interest in learning how to reduce the odds of being a victim.  If you want to start a Neighborhood Watch group on your block or re-ignite one that fizzled, call Steve Sink at 244-6644 and get details and a starter kit.

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

Property Crime in the Foothills on Tuesday, May 17th:  My recommendations are in italics —

1 Robbery to an Individual:  12300-block of Badger Lane SE. TIP:  Put the cell phone away when walking!  This will increase your situational awareness and conceal a tempting robbery target.

6 Stolen Vehicles:  12300-block of  Piru SE, two separate incidents in the same day at the same address on the 1500-block of Tramway Blvd NE, 5800-block of Eubank Blvd NE, 9900-block of Spain NE and one vehicle stolen during a residential burglary on the 13600-block of Keesha Jo SE.  Auto related property crime is our biggest issue right now — lock up, ensure proper key custody, park in secured areas, and if you must park in the driveway or a parking lot outside consider some anti-theft measures.  There are many on the market from low to high tech.  If you park your vehicle in an unsecured spot overnight, check the surrounding lighting to make sure the lights are covering your vehicle, they are not burned out or broken and the light covers are clean.  If you cleaned your light covers just once every five years, you’d improve your lighting by 50% (per International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners 2015 Crime Prevention Curriculum).

2 Residential Burglaries:  13600-block of Keesha Jo SE, 5400-block of Edwards Dr NE.  Tip:  It is VITAL to secure your garage door.  Keep it closed.  Check to make sure it is closed — we all forget from time to time.  Be a good neighbor and alert your neighbor if their garage door is open – they may not realize that they forgot to close it.  There are mobile apps on the market now that allow you to check the garage door and open and close it via your smart phone or mobile device — maybe something like this will work for you and your family.  Remember:  the garage door is the biggest door to your home.  You wouldn’t go to bed and leave the front door wide open; don’t do this with your garage door.  Most homes have entry doors that are left unlocked from the garage into the home and criminals exploit this by walking into the garage and then the home to steal purses, wallets and keys left on counter tops.  Some criminals have been known to proceed to use those keys to steal the vehicle in the garage.  Control your environment and secure your property to reduce your odds of a burglary or vehicle theft.

5 Auto Burglaries:  13500-block of Central NE, 11900-block of Central NE, 10400-block of Apache NE,11700-block of  Lexington NE, 10700-block of Academy NE.  Leaving items inside parked vehicles is too tempting to a burglar to bypass — secure your property and your vehicles.  Yesterday’s 5 auto burglaries netted criminals 2 purses, items in center consoles and glove boxes, CDs, various tools, a back pack, fabric, and sparring equipment.  Bring your articles inside when you park.  Lock up.  Two of the five auto burglaries yesterday were to unlocked vehicles — your job as a citizen is to secure your property and control your environment (do what you can within your own power) and that means deterring entry, delaying entry or denying entry to a burglar.  Start editing and paring down what you leave behind in your vehicle and lock up — most burglars will bypass your vehicle if nothing is visible and it’s locked up.