Trending Tuesday: I continue to see residential burglaries targeted at unoccupied/vacant homes either for sale or undergoing renovations. These residential burglaries are netting criminals high dollar items including appliances, ceiling fans, water valves, fixtures, outlets, gas ranges, refrigerators, flooring, door knobs and the tools stored in the homes by the workers. As neighbors on the block, you see more than you may realize. Your one call to 242-COPS (2677) noting someone who appears to be removing these types of items from a home undergoing renovation or is empty and for sale could make a big difference. Call from a safe place and give the operator the best description you can of what is happening.
The home owner is not only the primary victim, but we have the other victims: the workers whose tools and supplies are stolen in many of these incidents too. Hopefully workers and those who work in fields requiring tools are keeping an up to date property inventory so that if tools are stolen, they can be entered into the NCIC database and the owner has a way to be identified if these items are recovered by law enforcement. Keep that property inventory in a safe place from damage (flood, fire, etc.) and if it seems overwhelming, start small — just one room or one type of item at a time, a short time per day to add to the inventory and before you know it you will have a completed and up to date inventory of your belongings. Your home insurance may even have forms or a photo/video system to help you with this project.
Hot Wheels: The weekly Crime Analysis Unit’s briefing was held today and according to their research, the city had 73 vehicles reported stolen over the last seven days and 196 auto burglaries reported for the same period. Of the 73 reported stolen vehicles in the city, the Foothills Area Command fell right in the middle of the pack for number of reported stolen vehicles. The peak times of victims discovering and then reporting their vehicle stolen for the Foothills Area Command remained the same: Mondays, Fridays and then Tuesdays between 3:00 – 7:00 a.m. Where were the most vehicles stolen in Albuquerque over the past seven days? Single family residential neighborhoods (25 cases) followed by apartments (21 cases) and then plummeting down to 5 or fewer cases reported at retail, recreational, lodging and mobile home park locations across the city. What were the makes of vehicles stolen repeatedly over the past seven days in Albuquerque? Chevrolets (11/6 of 11 were trucks), GMCs (6/5 of 6 were trucks) and 4 motorcycles.
What is this data telling us? Those who park outside secured garages or fencing/gates in residential neighborhoods are being targeted. Don’t let your neighborhood become a ‘fishing hole’ for auto thieves. If you must park outside the garage, then you will need to layer your vehicles with protective measures designed to deter, delay and deny entry to steal the vehicle. That means lighting over the vehicle, landscaping that is trimmed and allows neighbors to see to your home/vehicle and call 911 if they see an attempted break-in or vehicle theft. That means anti-theft devices like special locks, kill-switches, tracker systems in the event the vehicle is taken, alarms, etc. Anything to deter or delay a person from seeing your vehicle as an easy target.
Brrr…Baby It’s Cold Outside! A word about warm-ups…as the weather gets colder we will see more ‘warm up’ auto thefts. That’s when the vehicle is left with the engine running to warm up and the owner walks away. These are 100% preventable crimes. Don’t be that guy/gal…These preventable auto thefts can turn your life upside down as a victim. They spike up our auto theft rates every winter. The plumes of exhaust fumes are like neon signs in the wee hours of the morning for crews of auto thieves looking for easy targets. Most vehicles don’t require warming up before taking off to your destination and most heaters kick on fairly quickly. Remember those quick stops to pick up or drop off children, dry cleaning, grab a newspaper or mail from the box, dashing in to the convenience store, etc. where you may be tempted to leave the keys in the ignition and “will only be a minute” — that’s when you are choosing to leave your vehicle vulnerable to someone who is watching for just that type of opportunity. Take the few minutes to sit in the vehicle while it’s warming up, to lock up the vehicle when you have a quick errand and never leave your purse or wallet in the vehicle and walk away.
Stand True for our Red, White and Blue: October 30th the Stand True for Blue group is asking people across our nation to decorate homes, offices, places of worship, schools, etc. with flags and red, white and blue decorations as a symbol of gratitude and support to first responders.
Halloween Safety: I have placed Halloween Safety and some McGruff the Crime Dog coloring pages in the Foothills Substation lobby. Feel free to stop by and pick up a coloring page and brochure to bring home and read as a family before trick or treat time.
Another gun stolen from a parked vehicle. We now have a criminal armed with a loaded 45 caliber, 3 magazines (full) and 50 rounds of ammo. For the sake of everyone’s safety in the community, please practice responsible gun ownership and remove your firearms when you park your vehicle and walk away. Regular readers know how prevalent this is in our community and the potential for tragedy. There are gun safes for vehicles and there are safe storage methods for keeping firearms safely out of the hands of children, curious teens, or criminals when you don’t have your gun holstered. As noted above, a property inventory is a must with firearms too — know the make, model, caliber, serial number, color, accessories, etc. and have that information in a safe place in case the gun is stolen so the details can be reported to law enforcement.
Property Crimes Reported in the Foothills Area Command on Monday, October 23rd:
3 Commercial Burglaries: 11200-block of Menaul Blvd NE, 2900-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE, 2100-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE.
5 Stolen Vehicles: 6600-block of Tennyson St. NE, 4600-block of Eubank Blvd NE, 3000-block of Jane Pl NE, 300-block of Western Skies SE, 1900-block of Saturn Ct NE.
1 Commercial Burglary: 10700-block of Acoma Rd SE.
1 Residential Burglary: 12300-block of Fox Ln SE.
6 Auto Burglaries: 13000-block of Constitution NE,12000-block of Skyline Rd NE, 1100-block of La Charles Dr NE, 13100-block of Central Ave SE and two vehicles at the same address on the 200-block of Zena Lona St NE. Entries? Easy — leaving vehicles unlocked. We also had one damaged door lock noted and a few where the entry method was not determined at the time of research. Items stolen in 24-hours in the Foothills that were left inside parked vehicle: A 45 caliber loaded gun, 3 full magazines, 50 rounds of ammunition and a tactical bag. A handicap placard, the vehicle registration and CDs. One failed attempt to steal the vehicle, leaving behind damage to the vehicle interior. Several vehicles were rummaged through with nothing noted as stolen.
I hope readers will participate in next Monday’s “Stand True for Red, White and Blue” and pick up some Halloween Safety brochures at our substation. Have a great day,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command