Auto Theft: A Very Big Problem! The Foothills Area Command’s property crime numbers for yesterday show 8 vehicles stolen in just one day and three other attempts were made at stealing vehicles, leaving a lot of damage to those vehicles. Here are figures from our Crime Analysis Unit from city-wide auto theft data for the period of May 29 – June 5:
Most popular vehicles to steal in that 7-day period city-wide: Chevys (22, and 13 of 22 Chevys were pick-up trucks), Hondas (15, older models) and then Fords (12, and 6 of 12 Fords stolen were pick up trucks).
Where are the most vehicles being stolen throughout Albuquerque? Single-family residential neighborhoods lead the pack, followed closely by apartment parking lots, both in double-digit numbers. The rest of the figures show retail centers, strip malls, construction sites, car dealerships or mechanic sites, and medical centers in very small numbers. What does that tell us? If you have a garage at your home, park inside! Secure it! If you must park outside, then you have got to figure out a way to secure your vehicle, whether with an alarm or high or low tech devices and park under good lighting with clear sight lines. Do not provide cover to a criminal with overgrown bushes, no lights or poor lighting, etc.
City-wide, the Crime Analysis Unit figures for auto theft during that 7-day period places the Foothills Area Command smack dab in the middle of all six APD Area Commands for auto theft cases reported to police. In total, 88 vehicles were reported stolen city-wide during that one week.
For the Foothills Area Command, peak days and times for auto thefts were pegged at Thursdays and Saturdays between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. (when most owners realize their vehicles are gone and call police).
If you have to park outside a secured garage or none is available, you need to start practicing crime prevention and look into ways to layer your vehicle with protection against auto theft. Keep your auto insurance and registration inside with you in your wallet (you have to have them when driving, but not in the vehicle when it’s parked). Having the auto make, model, year, license plate number and VIN number at your fingertips is vital to the responding officer trying to do your police report and get your vehicle entered into our National Crime Information database. Too many victims lose hours of precious time looking for this information and you should have it at your fingertips in the event of an auto theft. Our substation has Vehicle ID cards that you can come by and request if you need the information for multiple vehicles.
Property Crime Reported in the Foothills Area Command on Wednesday, May 7th
8 Stolen Vehicles: 10700-block of Pennyback Park Dr NE, 400-block of Rock Creek Park Dr NE, 700-block of Stephen Moody SE, 10900-block of Lexington NE, 3000-block of Jane Pl NE, 1800-block of Chelwood Park Blvd NE, 3800-block of Pitt St NE, 4500-block of Morris St NE.
1 Residential Burglary: 13300-block of Lodestone Trl SE. Entry: May have left garage door partially open all night. Items stolen: MacBook, iPad, 2 cameras left inside vehicle parked in the garage.
4 Auto Burglaries: 700-block of Stephen Moody SE, 11000-block of Griffith Park NE, 500-block of Burma Dr NE, 3100-block of Candlelight NE. Entries: Unlocked vehicles, garage door left open all night, breaking windows. Items stolen: Personal papers. A wallet, keys, drivers license, Social Security card, 3 credit cards and the remote control to the gated community’s gates (exposing the entire community to unauthorized entry). Three vehicles had damages from failed attempts to steal the vehicles.
A word about gated communities: bring the remote control or fob into the home with you when you park your vehicle. A stolen remote to a gated community’s access gates exposes the entire community to unauthorized entries. Living in a gated community provides one more layer of protection for authorized vehicle access; however — do not let your guard down and leave garages open overnight, cars unlocked are parked outside garages, etc. Gates are not 100% foolproof and they prevent unauthorized vehicle access to the community at best (if codes are not shared, remotes not stolen, etc.), but they are not going to stop crime from occurring inside the community. That task is up to all of us to prevent through crime prevention methods, awareness and neighbors looking out for each other and being willing to call 242-COPS or 911 if a crime or suspicious activity is taking place.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command