We are having a struggle with the high number of stolen vehicles and auto burglaries recently. This is city wide and not limited to the Foothills Area Command. A few of the vehicles stolen this weekend were left unattended with keys inside (at a convenience store/gas location) or keys were stolen in residential burglaries with access provided to the keys via a garage door opener being stolen from a vehicle earlier (we have GOT to start bringing in valuables and personal items when parking vehicles overnight in driveways and curbside). Also, vehicle keys were passed along to unsavory subjects known to the auto theft victims. Key custody is important, and think about your keys and where you store them: are they accessible to those who should not have access to your vehicle?
Thanks to the good neighbor/witness who called 242-COPS this weekend when a strange vehicle not owned by the neighbor was spotted in the driveway for a good 20 minutes or so with no occupants. These are the types of phone calls to 242-COPS that help our officers and our community! If you have to call, do so from a place where you are safe and provide the best information to the 242-COPS operator you can — gender, race, height, weight, hair/eyes, tattoos or piercings if any are visible, clothing, mode of travel (vehicle, bicycle, on foot, etc.) and direction of travel — this information really helps your law enforcement team narrow down who they are looking for, why, and where they have been and are headed.
I got word from one of my Neighborhood Watch communities that they had surveillance showing a male/female team roaming their little hidden gem of a neighborhood this weekend in the night trying door handles. Locking up and removing all articles of value will reduce your odds greatly of being victimized by an auto burglary or auto thief. Good lighting is also beneficial over that vehicle if you cannot park in a secured garage. Communication with neighbors is also key — the more you are all on the same page AND tapped into crime prevention through local law enforcement, the better off you are as a block/group.
Thanks again for being neighbors who help neighbors — that’s really what it all boils down to in the end when we thing about crime prevention and building strong communities. Have a great week and stay safe —
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command