What are some of the trends we are seeing regarding property crimes over the past week? Well, our auto theft cases city-wide show that in the Foothills Area Command (generally everything east of Eubank in city limits) our peak times for auto thefts to be discovered and reported by victims continues to be Thursdays and Saturdays from 4:00 to 7:00 a.m. Where are the most popular spots to steal a vehicle? Large apartment complexes city-wide, with only one more case than single family residential areas reported. What’s that mean in a nutshell? Just because you may live in a beautiful neighborhood with low crime rates, auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Reduce the opportunity to steal your wheels and you reduce the odds of being a victim. Park in a secured garage whenever possible, even if that means the yard tools and holiday decorations need to go somewhere else. Not possible? Then park in good lighting, maybe add a barrier like a locking gate, think about anti-theft devices, keep an eye on your vehicle and make sure sight lines are good for others who may call 911 if they see someone tampering with your vehicle. What vehicles are most commonly stolen? For the time period of June 26-July 2, Crime Analysis determines Chevrolets (22, and 14 of the 22 stolen were trucks) followed by Fords (15 and 10 of the 15 stolen were trucks).
Residential Burglaries: I’m still seeing in my research for the Foothills (and Crime Analysis sees this city-wide) that open garages are providing easy entries to commit residential burglaries. I know it’s summer, it’s hot, you have yard projects you want to do and it’s just easier to leave the garage door open. That will be a personal decision for home owners, but I ask that you be a good neighbor and stop by or call a neighbor if you see their garage door left open in case they have forgotten to close it. Controlling your personal environment is a sure way to reduce your odds of a burglary and the garages are easy entry points for burglars.
Here’s what I show for property crimes (robberies, auto thefts, burglaries) for the Foothills Area Command yesterday:
2 Armed Robberies/Commercial: 13300-block of Central NE and 12900-block of Lomas Blvd NE.
2 Stolen Vehicles: 2700-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE and 4700-block of Morris St NE.
2 Commercial Burglaries: 10400-block of Central NE, 11800-block of Montgomery Blvd NE.
4 Residential Burglaries: 1600-block of Adelita Dr NE, 12500-block of Casa Grande Ave NE, 12000-block of La Charles Ave NE, 12800-block of Comanche NE. Entries: windows, front doors, sliding glass doors. Stolen: Firearms, computers, musical instruments, tools, almost $900 cash, jars with change/coins, and various items not detailed at time of my research.
1 Auto Burglary: 500-block of DeSoto St SE: Stole purse and contents left inside the vehicle that caller thinks may have been left unlocked.
What can you learn from the crime above? Secure firearms when not in use! Have a property inventory in case you are burglarized — it will make reclaiming your property easier and make it more efficient for APD to have an official record. If on vacation, enlist trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your home and know your departure and return dates and your contact phone number if there is an emergency at your home. The biggie: stop leaving purses in vehicles, parking and walking away — this is something I read about on police reports almost every single day! It should be an easy habit to break that will reduce your odds of being a victim not only of auto burglary, but the most likely identity theft crimes that will follow. Remove all items of value from vehicles when you park and really pare down what you drive around with inside your vehicle.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July break and a chance to reflect on what a truly amazing country we live in. Try not to let crime get you down — a lot of these cases are preventable just by building awareness and controlling our own environments and joining together as neighborhoods. If you need help, call or email me (768-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command