Thank you to the St. Stephen’s Church TLC group for inviting Commander Aragon and me to your monthly luncheon. We had a great time and I hope everyone walked away learning at least one new thing about crime prevention to put into action. Thank you Shelley, Martha and Pastor John for the opportunity to share tips and trends with those who attended.
Don’t leave your life’s documents in your car! Sad story to relay to you as a painful lesson for one of our Foothills Area Command neighbors: Ten years’ worth of documents were stolen from a vehicle yesterday during an auto burglary. Adult and children’s identification documents, military documents, the Social Security cards, etc. Please remember to clear your vehicle of any items that are visible, of value or — as Commander Aragon taught the TLC group yesterday — of perceived value.
Perceived value? What did the Commander mean? Things that may, in your mind, be of absolutely no value like a box, a bag, a tote bag, etc. can be perceived by a criminal as having something of interest or value inside. I once read a police report where an auto burglary was committed and the offender stole a Walgreen’s prescription bag (the white, paper bags with the pharmacy symbol). There was nothing in the bag, but when perusing the parking lot, that perked up the offender’s radar and the vehicle was burglarized, basically for an empty paper bag sitting on the front seat.
However, there is flip side to perceived value: maybe your driver’s licenses, Social Security card, mail, receipts, registration or insurance papers, etc. seem of little to no monetary value or easily replaced if stolen. Yes, some of these items are pieces of plastic or paper. However, to a criminal with ways to sell that personal data or turn those items into a route to identity theft, fraud, forgery it’s a very big attraction and temptation to break into a vehicle for those items. Keeping these items in a back pack or a tote bag or box inside a vehicle still perks up interest for an auto burglar – don’t do it.
Guard your personal information, secure those documents and don’t leave them in an unattended vehicle as prey to auto burglars. In most cases, if you lock up and have nothing of value or visible in the vehicle when you park you will be okay. Most auto burglars want a fast and easy way to steal and if you make your vehicle just a little bit more difficult, time consuming and riskier to break into, they will move on to the easy targets.
Property Crimes reported in the Foothills Area Command on Thursday, August 17th:
1 Robbery/Commercial: 200-block of Eubank Blvd NE.
3 Stolen Vehicles: 11600-block of Easy Goer Rd SE,14000-block of Skyline Rd NE, 700-block of Monell Dr NE.
1 Commercial Burglary: 4200-block of Eubank Blvd NE.
1 Residential Burglary: 5100-block of Purcell Dr NE.
4 Auto Burglaries: 700-block of Supper Rock Dr NE, 13300-block of Oriente Ave NE, 11200-block of Lomas Blvd NE, 2500-block of Griggs Ct NE. Entries: Pried open a door, one other forced entry and two unforced entries. Items stolen: Ten year’s worth of caller’s and caller’s children’s personal data (IDs, Social Security cards, information with dates of birth, VA documents), a back pack. A tote bag and jumper cables.
Have a great weekend and by the way, it’s National Fajita Day — hopefully this post will get to you before you’ve planned tonight’s dinner and you can enjoy some fajitas! Be safe,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command