Trending Tuesday: I am continuing to see many property crimes that were preventable by just locking up a parked vehicle and making sure nothing of value was left inside. The Foothills Area Command’s reports of auto burglaries for Monday, November 6th show that of the 7 vehicles that were burglarized, 4 of the 7 were left unlocked with items left inside. The remainder of the 7 reported auto burglaries were to vehicles with items left inside and the methods of entry were by breaking windows (2 of 7) and damaging the door lock (1 of 7). Imagine for a moment if no items were left inside all 7 of the vehicles and all 7 vehicles were locked — could 7 victims have prevented being burglarized?
Our Crime Analysis Unit tracked auto burglaries city-wide for the 7 day period of October 30 – November 5 and there were 191 auto burglaries reported to APD. The Foothills Area Command logged 24 of these auto burglary cases and we were next-to-lowest of the six Area Commands. This is not a competition by any stretch, but it’s nice to see that the Foothills Area Command did not have higher reported auto burglaries for those 7 days when compared to other areas. Who knows if the tide will change, but let’s try to claim a little bit of good news if we can.
Hot Wheels: APD’s Crime Analysis Unit released the stolen vehicle numbers city-wide for October 30 – November 5 and the numbers took a dip. Crime Analysis showed 119 reported stolen vehicles for October 16 – 22 and also the week of October 23 – 29; however, for this past 7 day period city-wide they show 87 stolen vehicles reported to APD. That’s a nice dip — hopefully, the numbers can stay lower and fewer citizens will be inconvenienced and deal with the aftermath of being an auto theft victim. Here are some other details that I can share from Crime Analysis’ 7 day reporting from October 30th – November 5th:
- The Foothills Area Command was again, 5th out of 6 APD Area Commands for numbers of vehicles reported stolen. Crime Analysis showed the Foothills as having 8 vehicles reported stolen for that time period. City-wide, APD Area Commands swung from a high of 29 stolen vehicles to a low of 6 stolen vehicles for that 7 day period.
- Most popular places city-wide to steal vehicles per Crime Analysis: apartment parking lots (29), single-family residential neighborhoods (19) and then the numbers plummet to overnight lodging, car dealerships/mechanics, restaurants, retail, and other parking lots ranging from 2 to 6 cases city-wide for those 7 days.
- Most popular vehicles to steal during those 7 days? Fords (18/9 were trucks), Chevrolets (15/8 were trucks), Hyundais (6) and motorcycles (5).
Crime Prevention Quick Take-Away Tips: Get some sort of anti-theft device to deter and make that criminal intent of stealing a vehicle bypass yours. You may never deny entry, but you can sure deter and delay entry to your vehicle! Sometimes it can be as simple as parking under lighting. Parking where there are plenty of people who would call 911 if they saw criminal behavior may help if no secured garage is available to you. Locking up, of course. Alarms are great — just remember to use the alarm system; many don’t, believe it or not! A brake lock is low-tech, but effective. Ignition chips that must be inserted to operate the vehicle will help. The criminal may have already made entry, but the brake lock or ignition switch prevents them from taking the vehicle. There are tech aids that can track your vehicle if it is stolen, which helps with the recovery and location. A steering wheel lock may deter an auto thief; they may not want the hassle of dismantling it and the risk of being seen and reported to 911. Yes, these devices can be defeated, but they can also prevent an auto theft just by being in place and the criminal may move on to an easier target.
I wanted to thank everyone who participated in this year’s VIN Etching events that APD Auto Theft worked on throughout our community and to thank those community partners who provided their parking lots for the VIN Etchings. I am sure we will see more VIN Etchings in 2018 when the weather gets warmer. This service is provided free of charge to our community and can cost about $299 if the dealership does the etching — a significant savings for an anti-theft prevention method and something that helps law enforcement with the vehicle recovery process. Watch this web site or check with the Citizens Contact Center (dial 311) next year for VIN etching dates and locations.
Another gun stolen from a parked vehicle, a 45 caliber gun. Can you help me spread the word? The Foothills Area Command is nearly at 200 firearms reported stolen in auto thefts (gun inside vehicle at the time the vehicle was stolen), auto burglaries and residential burglaries year-to-date. This practice of leaving guns unsecured is essentially arming the criminal population with a pretty sizeable armory. It’s not safe if you have children either — guns should be properly secured and stored when not in use. Yes, you may need a firearm in an emergency, but if it’s a home and your are not, or it’s in your car and you are nowhere in sight, it’s not going to come in too handy in an emergency. Check into the many types of gun safes and ways to store guns safely.
Property Crimes Reported in the Foothills Area Command on Monday, November 6th:
1 Armed Robbery/Commercial: 2900-block of Eubank Blvd NE.
2 Stolen Vehicles: 4700-block of Morris St NE and 13000-block of Alice Avenue NE.
7 Auto Burglaries: 1800-block of Gretta St NE, two separate cases on the 1100-block of Wagon Wheel St SE, 10100-block of Lagrima De Oro Rd NE, 12700-block of Indian School Rd NE, 900-block of Lamp Post Circle SE, 3000-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE. Entries: 4 of 7 reported auto burglaries were unforced entries, 2 of 7 had entries made by breaking windows, 1 of the 7 reported had the lock damaged to make entry into the vehicle. Items stolen: 45 caliber gun. A make up bag. Tools and Kirtland Air Force Base access badge. Tools. Ten dollars in quarters and miscellaneous items not detailed. A set of golf clubs.
Have a safe day,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command