Trending Tuesday: One trend I’ve noticed over the past few weeks is the ‘I don’t want to file a police report, I just wanted the officer dispatched so I could tell the officer about this incident’ or ‘to tell the officer we have crime in my neighborhood.’
We (APD) have to have the data from police reports to help you with crime prevention, with seeing the bigger picture for the Area Command and the police department as a whole, and for our staffing and manning levels. If you have been a victim of a crime, please file a police report. We try to make it easy for you: calling 242-COPS to dispatch and officer, filing a police report of a crime that has occurred on line (www.cabq.gov/police) or by calling our Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) at 768-2030. Most police reports can be done over the phone or computer. By not filing a police report, our department does not get the accurate picture of the crimes occurring, and the community does not get an accurate picture either through the public access crime report sites like www.crimemapping.com or www.spotcrime.com that report crimes that occurred that resulted in police reports being written. You can help the police department and the community overall by going ahead and reporting that crime rather than having an officer dispatched to ‘tell the officer there is crime around here!’ If APD has the full picture of occurrences of crimes and other details from the police report, we can better allocate resources to help the community.
#TuesdayCopTalk on Twitter: The first Tuesday of the month you can contact a police department representative through Twitter with the hash tag noted above; the APD Twitter account is @ABQPOLICE. Don’t tweet? You can ask a question to someone from APD live or follow the conversation via APD’s website at cabq.gov/police.
National Consumer Protection Week: Tax Identity Theft — good news and tips to avoid being a victim: Per the IRS, new complaints of tax-identity theft have dropped dramatically. Per a Wall Street Journal article in the weekend edition (Sat/Sun March 4-5, page B-7, article by Tax Report’s Laura Saunders), during 2016 the IRS received 376,000 new reports of tax-ID theft involving federal returns, less than half of the 766,000 total reported in 2014, a peak year. The IRS estimates rejecting almost $6.6 billion in fraudulent returns claims in 2016, compared with $8.7 billion in 2015, which indicates thieves were less active.
Tips to avoid being a victim of Tax-identity theft:
- Ask your tax preparer about their firm’s cybersecurity measures that are in place.
- Minimize your refund/withholding rates; if you are a victim, you’ll take less of a hit.
- Create strong passwords and don’t use the same password for all of your different portals.
- Cybersecurity practices such as shredding personal information when finished with it, having antivirus protections on your computer, not sharing your social security number or personal information, not filing returns on unprotected wifi, avoiding scams, not clicking on unverified links and instead verifying with the firm directly by phone or providing information by going through the firm’s site directly rather than responding through email to you and providing links will help you avoid being a victim.
- Notify the IRS immediately if you are a victim – they have instructions and steps for your to take on www.irs.gov.
- If you have been a victim, ask for help – most firms who have been compromised will provide free restoration services to victims such as credit monitoring, etc.
Property Crimes Reported in the Foothills Area Command on Monday, March 6, 2017
2 Armed Robberies/Commercial: 12900-block of Central NE, 10300-block of Menaul Blvd NE.
2 Residential Burglaries: 600-block of Parkside Place NE, 5900-block of Tierra Antigua NE. Entries: breaking windows, open garages. Both residences were ransacked and items stolen not listed at time of my research. It pays to keep windows and doors locked both while at home and while away from home. There are many types of mechanisms on the market to have a window open for ventilation and prevent the window from being slid or lifted out of the tracks by a burglar. A hardware store or big-box retail store should have a wide array of these products at several price points available for consumers.
2 Auto Burglaries: 11100-block of Morris NE, 12500-block of Comanche Blvd NE. Entries not noted, items stolen were laptops, computer bags. If you have to go to the gym, stop at home and drop off the laptop or get a locker at the gym and a strong padlock and stow and secure your laptop.
Be safe, and I hope you’ll start using the TuesdayCopTalk feature being offered the first Tuesday of each month —
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command