Parking Outside Overnight: Is YOUR Vehicle A Target? YES. I am seeing a trend of residential areas targeted for auto theft and auto burglary. This is a shift from our normal ‘”target-rich environments” such as apartment complexes, grocery store or big-box chain / shopping centers, etc. Why is this happening? There are a number of likely factors:
- risk is low enough to the criminal to feel it’s worth it
- there’s some great stuff being left in vehicles and it’s there for the taking
- there are no eyes on the vehicles (no active Neighborhood Watch groups, poor sight lines from homes to the street, so many vehicles parked in the driveway you’d never see someone suspicious, etc.)
- blocks of strangers who are not connected and do not care to know one another or get involved with each other tend not to notice suspicious activity at someone else’s home or may not recognize it to be suspicious
- a sense of ‘this is an upscale neighborhood and those things don’t happen here’
- forgetfulness about locking up and removing property from the car when parking
- broken windows or windows that don’t roll up not being repaired in a timely fashion and left parked outside for hours
- lack of anti-theft devices, whether high tech ‘bells and whistles’ or low tech (brake locks, ignition kill switch, the club type of steering wheel locks, etc.).
- lack of lighting or lighting upkeep (checking at night to see if you are getting the lighting coverage you need, checking for burned out or broken bulbs, cleaning the light covers to enhance the lighting, making sure the bulbs have not been unscrewed during the day for a potential burglary in the driveway that night)
- keeping junk in the garage and parking your several-thousand dollar investment in the driveway or an unsecured area
- feeling of “I live in a gated community and crime won’t happen here’ — remember, these are crimes of opportunity and they can happen anywhere at any time
Auto theft and auto burglary are crimes of opportunity: provide a weak target, an opportunity and mix in a motivated criminal and you have a crime.
APD Crime Prevention offers security assessment services, print material, the Area Command web sites for daily updates, monthly crime prevention workshops for the community to learn more at the local substation at 12800 Lomas Blvd NE and more. Why not start a Neighborhood Watch group to get the whole block briefed on basic crime prevention principles and in contact with each other to try to tackle these types of property crimes together?
Property Crimes in the Foothills on Thursday, August 18th:
4 Stolen Vehicles: 10800-block of Jicama SE, 12000-block of Zia Rd NE, 10000-block of Menaul, 5900-block of Tierra Antigua and 2 Attempts at Stealing Vehicles at 4500-block of Morris St NE and 3500-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE.
1 Commercial Burglary: 1000-block of Tramway Blvd NE.
1 Residential Burglary: 500-block of Tramway Blvd NE. Entry via front window and crawling inside to steal TV.
6 Auto Burglaries: 300-block of Cascabel Trl SE, three incidents all on the 500-block of Adirondack Pl SE, 3500-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE, 12200-block of Academy Rd NE.
Entries were unforced, and by breaking the door lock.
Items stolen in 24 hours from vehicles: purse, vehicle titles, sets of keys, $125 cash, 12 credit cards, multiple IDs, bags of clothing, plastic dishes (from one vehicle); back pack, text books, laptop, articles from a U-Haul trailer and other items not detailed at time of research.
Have a great weekend and make some time to pare down what you leave in your vehicle! I’m taking a day off on Monday, so you won’t see a post on the Foothills web site that day —
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command