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Website Wednesday: Did You Know? – Holiday Decoration Thefts / Property Crime on Tuesday

Today is the Wednesday “Did You Know” segment — just in time for those who enjoy putting up holiday decoration displays.  Please share these tips with family, friends, neighbors, community groups and choose what works for you!

It is that time of year again to break out the Naughty/Nice Lists.  Unfortunately, as seen across the country, we will have incidents of stealing holiday decorations and Albuquerque will be no exception.

How can you prevent the Grinch from stealing your holiday decorations and leaving you with the proverbial lump of coal where your inflatable Santa used to be sitting?  You may want to try a few of these tactics to prevent being a victim:

  • Try to anchor decorations to the ground, going deep.
  • Rope or tie down decorations.
  • If you have lit decorations, consider a timer so they aren’t on all night to attract thieves.
  • However, with that being said, I recommend beefing up your home’s exterior lighting. Motion sensor flood lights that cover the decorations and are activated by motion will help.  Criminals don’t like to be seen in the act of stealing.
  • Try out a pair of driveway sensors placed close to your decorations. When the sensor beams are crossed a tone will sound inside the house to alert you.
  • Cameras: although these may or may not prevent this type of theft, if an incident does occur you may be able to download footage for police when the officer arrives to take your police report.  Try to get the best resolution you can to pick up faces, license plates, vehicle make/model.  I recommend enough storage/historical data to cover any holiday vacation time while your decorations are on display and the home is unoccupied.
  • Go outside at night and look at your home from across the street to make sure the lights are covering your target areas. Clean the light covers to maximize your lighting.  Replace any burned out or broken bulbs.

A little prevention can go a long way to a happy holiday season and sharing your display’s beauty with the entire neighborhood.

If you are a witness to a crime in progress, please call 242-COPS or 911 as appropriate from a safe place.  If you discover you have been a victim and there is no injury, no witnesses or suspect information, file a police report online (www.cabq.gov/police) or by telephone to the APD Telephone Reporting Unit at 768-2030.

Remember:  if you see a crime in progress, call from a safe place and do not chase or confront offenders.

Property Crime in the Foothills on Tuesday, November 15th

1 Armed Robbery at a Business: 1300-block of Eubank Blvd NE.

1 Vehicle Stolen while left running and unattended:  11500-block of Mahlon Ave NE.  100% preventable crime and took only two minutes from the time the vehicle was left unattended to the time the caller reported the vehicle as stolen.  Please remind family and friends to never leave a vehicle running and unattended — most think this won’t happen to them, but it’s the perfect crime of opportunity and criminals look for these opportunities.

4 Stolen Vehicles:  900-block of Tramway Blvd NE, 6300-block of Eubank Blvd NE, 12000-block of Persimmon NE, 6600-block of Tennyson NE.

1 Residential Burglary:  6200-block of Parktree NE.  Entry made by using garage door opener in vehicle parked outside overnight and left unlocked.  Park in secured garages if possible, lock vehicles and remove all items of value and anything with personal information (mail, checkbooks, drivers licenses, vehicle registration and insurance papers).  Remove keys or garage door openers and bring those inside when you park.

6 Auto Burglaries:  11000-block of Marina Gate Trail SE, 500-block of De Soto Court SE, 3300-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE, 12000-block of Menaul Blvd NE, 13100-block of Constitution NE, 10300-block of Guadalajara NE.  Entries made by breaking windows, popping door locks.

Be safe! 

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