Trending Tuesday: What I am seeing in crime trends for the past week — In the Foothills Area Command we continue to have so many preventable crimes being reported. You control your own environment and the power to deter or delay or deny your vehicle from being stolen, burglarized or your home broken into is in your hands. Exercise control over your property and you will greatly reduce your odds of being a victim. Here are some examples just from one 24-hour period in the Foothills Area Command, all preventable:
- One of our residential burglary victims went out of town for a month and did not activate the home burglar alarm, did not use the door blocking tool he had to prevent forced entry into the back door. What could he have done? Well, first use the burglar alarm. Put the door blocker device into place. Let a trusted neighbor know he’ll be out of town for a month and provide that neighbor with emergency contact numbers and ask them to call police if they see anything suspicious. Also ask a trusted neighbor to check for any packages, door hanging ads and fliers left on the porch, pick up the mail or newspapers, roll out the trash bin and replace it to make the home look occupied. Put the interior lights on a timer to give the appearance that the home is occupied. Leave a radio station on in the house to give the impression someone is home. Call the nearest APD substation and request a Periodic Watch for up to two weeks so officers in the area can swing by and do a visual check if in between dispatched calls for service. These are just a few tips.
- Stolen vehicle reported this week: victim parked at very busy retail ‘big box’ location and left the keys in the vehicle and walked away. This is a preventable crime. Keys should be carried in a pocket or with you and never left in the vehicle. Our jobs as citizens is to deter (locking up, leaving nothing visible inside the vehicle), delay (don’t leave keys for a criminal – make them weigh the risks of being caught in the act and reported to 911), deny (anti-theft devices like ignition kill-switches, brake locks, alarms, etc.).
- Auto burglary to vehicle parked for 2 days at an apartment complex and left unlocked. Back pack, driver’s license, Social Security card, school supplies and spare set of car keys were all stolen from the vehicle. This is easily preventable by removing all items of value, leaving nothing visible, locking the vehicle. Most likely the IDs that were stolen have already been used to commit identity theft, compounding one crime into several. It is surprising the criminal did not steal the vehicle using the spare key that was stolen.
Just slightly changing old habits can make a big difference in whether you become a property crime victim or not. If you see yourself in the three examples, the time to change those old habits is now! Take the few extra minutes of effort to protect your property and you will feel more in control about the level of crime all around us.
Hot Wheels: The APD Crime Analysis Unit’s information on stolen vehicles for the past seven days city-wide:
Most popular vehicles to steal over the past week: Fords (18/13 of 18 were trucks), Hondas (11/6 of 11 were Civics), motorcycles (6) and motorized scooters (3).
Places that were targeted to steal the most vehicles over the past week: Single family residential neighborhoods (26), apartments (23). Other locations noted (all 4 or fewer incidents reported) occurred at roadsides, car dealers or mechanics, hotels, restaurants, businesses, retail areas, medical centers.
Where the Foothills Area Command placed with number of reported auto thefts for the past week: Foothills Area Command had 17 reported stolen vehicles during the past seven days. City-wide the lowest Area Command logged 7 auto thefts and the Area Command with the highest number of stolen vehicles reported came in at 30 for that week.
Property Crimes reported in the Foothills Area Command on Monday, October 9th:
1 Armed Robbery/Vehicle (Car Jacking): 10000-block of Menaul Blvd NE.
3 Stolen Vehicles: 10300-block of Hotel Circle NE, 4600-block of Eubank Blvd NE, and a big-box retail shopping location but reported from the 4900-block of Calle De Carino NE.
2 Commercial Burglaries: 2400-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE, 5200-block of Eubank Blvd NE.
2 Residential Burglaries: 12000-block of Skyline Rd NE, 10500-block ov Los Arboles Ave NE.
1 Auto Burglary: 6200-block of Eubank Blvd NE: Entry: Unlocked vehicle. Items stolen: wallet, IDs, back pack, school supplies, spare set of car keys.
Be safe, and I hope you will consider changing old habits that no longer work or share these tips with others if you are ‘crime prevention savvy’ already — have a great day,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command