Snowball crimes: I call multiple crimes committed that started with one crime “snowball crimes.” We had a “snowball crime” flurry yesterday in the Foothills Area Command that started with a gym locker being broken into (broke the lock on the locker). Items were stolen from the locker that led to the theft of the victim’s vehicle. The crime continued to snowball by burglarizing the victim’s home. The snowball continued to gain speed and heft when the victim’s credit card was being used at a local resort/casino. The victim’s stolen vehicle was located several hours after the initial locker break-in 9 miles away from the original site of the locker theft at the gym.
I am seeing lots of burglaries lately at multiple fitness center locations in the Foothills Area Command. If you cannot stop at home to change into gym clothes, leave your valuables at home and THEN go to the gym with just the minimum items required for the gym (dr license, Vehicle registration and insurance cards, gym card, towel, water bottle, key fob) you will need to put some crime prevention steps into place.
Before you get to the gym, lock those valuables in your vehicle trunk and out of site. Clear the vehicle of anything visible and lock anything with personal information in the trunk. In the locker room do not leave wallets and purses in sight when changing (out on benches, etc. or in ‘grabbing’ distance of anyone). Invest in the best lock money can buy for your locker at the gym. If your workout is one that allows you to wear a fanny pack or small pouch or if you have zippered pockets on your workout clothing, use those to stash the drivers license, vehicle registration, insurance card and keys – those critical items needed for “snowball crimes” will now be with you, on your person or next to you on that treadmill or bicycle or yoga mat.
To avoid being a victim of any crime, it will take some time and work on your part: Thinking about ways to secure your property, thinking through the entire event you are attending and what items you have to leave out of sight. Deciding what you actually need to take with you for the errand or activity at hand. Plan accordingly. Yes, practicing crime prevention steps to control your property and who can gain access to your property takes a little extra time. The peace of mind knowing you have done what was within your power to control will allow you to have a great workout and to know you did everything you could to avoid being a victim of a gym locker theft, identity theft, auto theft, residential burglary, etc.
Property Crimes reported in the Foothills Area Command on Tuesday, March 27th:
2 Stolen Vehicles: 3300-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE, 11500-block of Princess Jeanne Ave NE.
3 Residential Burglaries: 4500-block of Jamaica Dr NE, 12000-block of Monachos Rd SE, 10400-block of San Jacinto Ave NE.
Have a safe day,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command