Trending Tuesday: Here’s what I saw for the past week from the property crime reports that occurred in the Foothills Area Command:
- We have a big issue with leaving homes and vehicles unlocked. The number of victims of auto and residential burglaries would drop significantly if they locked up their property before parking/leaving the house. Your goal here is to control your environment, and that means making your ‘target’ (your property) a ‘hard target’ — too time consuming, complicated or risky for a criminal to consider an easy target. If you can deter or delay a criminal from breaking into your home or vehicle, you are controlling your environment and doing the best you can. When you know you have done your best, you are preventing crime on your turf. You have just stacked the odds of being a victim in your favor.
- So far for the month of August, the Foothills Area Command did not have a single report of a gun stolen during an auto or residential burglary, but yesterday we had two guns stolen in two separate residential burglaries. I was hoping as each day of August passed that our streak of no unsecured firearms being stolen would continue, but yesterday our streak ended. For those who have firearms, when they are not in use, they should be secured. I don’t mean inaccessible to you in case of emergency; I mean to properly secure firearms when you leave the house to go to work or leave a gun in your vehicle and park and walk away.
- Property crime over the past week was pretty evenly spread throughout the Area Command, but I continue to see the auto burglaries at the trail head access points/parking areas. If you use the trails it is necessary to lock up the vehicle and bring the essentials with you. So many vehicles are being burglarized and the most common items stolen in these situations are purses, wallets, IDs, credit/debit cards, keys, cell phones, vehicle registrations and insurance documents and in some cases the garage door opener. These are all small items, easy to carry in a fanny pack or back pack or in pockets if you leave the purse at home. Give it a try the next time you use our beautiful trails and park the car and walk, run, or bicycle off on your adventure — leave the purse at home and bring the cell phone, the IDs and various bank cards with you for some peace of mind. This is also a form of controlling your environment. Your vehicle is not Fort Knox and impenetrable, but you will have done what was within your control to prevent being a victim of an auto burglar. You will have stacked the odds of being a victim in your favor.
- Family members who are not trustworthy: several of our auto theft and residential burglary incidents over the past week had our victims naming relatives as the most likely offenders. They allowed family members access to keys, vehicles, dwellings and after the person left for a day or so, these trusting and kind family members were victimized. Think twice about who you allow to have access to your home, your vehicle, your vehicle keys, etc. It is a sad and heartbreaking decision, but you may be protecting yourself and preventing a crime if you discontinue access if you have already been violated by this person. It’s your call if you are in a situation like our victims were last week and you will need to make the decision that feels right to you and you alone.
- Stolen vehicles: our Crime Analysis Unit reports that over the past 7 days we had 128 stolen vehicles reported city-wide. The Foothills Area Command had 15 stolen vehicles reported for that time period and we were right in the middle of all of the 6 APD Area Commands, which ranged from 32 stolen vehicles to 10 stolen vehicles reported. Where are the most vehicles being taken throughout Albuquerque? Crime Analysis shows apartments had 38, single family residential neighborhoods had 31, then businesses had 9, and retail 8 reported auto thefts. Following behind at 7 reported auto thefts were hotels and car dealerships or mechanics. What vehicles were most popular makes to steal for the past 7 days city-wide? Crime Analysis tracked 27 Chevys (11 of 27 were trucks), 14 Dodges (8 were trucks) and 7 Subarus. For the Foothills Area Command, our most popular sites to steal vehicles were (reporting 2 or more auto thefts in the past 7 days): gas station/convenience stores, restaurants, apartments, school campuses.
Property crimes reported in the Foothills Area Command on Monday, August 14th:
1 Robbery/Commercial: 2100-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE.
3 Stolen Vehicles: 500-block of Sandler Dr NE, 13300-block of Mountain View Ave NE (recovered later that afternoon), 11200-block of Menaul Blvd NE.
2 Commercial Burglaries: 12900-block of Cochiti Rd SE, 800-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE.
4 Residential Burglaries: 500-block of Trading Post Trail SE, 11600-block of Clifford Ave NE, 100-block of Casa Hermosa Dr NE, 4600-block of Eubank Blvd NE. Entries: Of the 4 residential burglaries reported yesterday, 2 were to unlocked dwellings and a 3rd was no specified how entry was made and the 4th was a case of prying open a door. Items stolen were a Glock 9 MM handgun, a 380 caliber handgun, TVs, a laptop and one burglar made him/herself at home and cooked a meal using the victim’s food and stole a jacket.
5 Auto Burglaries: 12300-block of Horseshoe Trail SE, 3400-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE, 6000-block of Cortaderia St NE, 12500-block of Montgomery Blvd NE, 5700-block of Teakwood Trail NE. Entries: Of the 5 auto burglaries reported yesterday, 2 were unforced entries, 1 was not noted at time of my research and 2 were via breaking the window. Items left inside parked vehicles that were stolen: A purse, state-issued IDs, credit cards, debit cards, FSA card, driver’s license, insurance cards, and $200 cash — $500 was already missing from one account by the time the victim reported the auto theft — another reason to never leave a purse/wallet inside an unattended vehicle — items in a purse are often used to then commit further crime, re-victimizing the victim in multiple ways. Tools and a vehicle registration. Two purses and books.
Have a great day — try some of the tips posted above to stack those odds of being a victim of a burglar in your favor. Be safe,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command