Snowball of crime? Yes! I know it is summer and not a chance of snow in the forecast, but what I call the snowball is rollin’ through our community. Think of an avalanche, and how a little bit of snow leads to a big chunk of snow sliding down the mountain. In what may seem like an instant, suddenly that tiny bit of snow has built up to a wall of snow tearing down the mountain and pulling trees, rocks and anything else in it’s pathway with it. I think of the ‘snowball effect’ regarding crime lately. How one small change of habit could prevent an avalanche of crime.
I’ll walk you through an all too familiar scenario I see so many times that shows how one small item left inside a vehicle can lead to multiple crimes, and crimes that are putting you and your family at risk. 1) Car gets burglarized, garage door opener stolen from vehicle. 2) Criminal uses garage door opener to open the garage. Bonanza! More vehicles and property to steal. 3) Why not check inside the house — there may be car keys and a purse sitting right within reach on the kitchen counter. The criminal can just open that door from the garage into the home to see what’s easy to steal. This criminal doesn’t really want to commit a violent crime or sexual assault while the family is asleep — this criminal just wants your stuff. 4) A purse! Now the criminal has IDs, credit cards, debit cards, cash, possibly prescriptions and other items. These can all be used immediately to commit more crimes like fraud, forgery, identity theft, etc. 5) Car keys to the cars in the garage are right on or near that door — great. The criminal can signal the rest of the crew to come get these cars. These will be great to drive around in, do some joyriding, maybe sell or take out of the city or country to sell or get some cash for parts at a ‘chop shop. 6) Victim wakes up and finds garage door open, no vehicles, articles stolen from the garage and whatever happened to be in the vehicles at the time of theft and then realizes the criminal was actually inside the home as well. What an awful realization — I want to help prevent things like this from happening.
It’s not that it’s a terrible world out there, but we are still using old habits that just don’t work in today’s world. The first habit I recommend changing is to remove all articles of value from your vehicles and lock the vehicle. If you have a garage, why aren’t you parking in the garage? If you can make room, please do so — your odds of being a crime victim will drop. I can show you all kinds of simple hacks to fortify that home and yard — call me and set up an appointment. I’ll do these during the day and until we hit the shorter days with the time change. I’d be happy to try to schedule an early evening appointment if you have to work or want the rest of the family to be there for a crime prevention assessment at your home. Call me at 323-4644 if you would like a home assessment for security purposes.
Let’s stop the snowball and start thinking about ways to prevent crime on the block!
Property Crime in the Foothills on Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday
1 Home Invasion-Style Armed Robbery: 3600-block of Pitt St NE.
14 Stolen Vehicles: 500-block of Eubank Blvd SE, 700-block of Eubank Blvd SE, 600-block of Morris St NE, 12600-block of Elyse Place SE, 11500-block of Snow Heights NE, 10200-block of Cielito Lindo NE, two vehicles at the same address on the 5500-block of Sabrosa NE, 11200-block of Nassau Dr NE, 500-block of Tramway NE, 1800-block of Dorothy St NE, two vehicles at the same address on the 11900-block of Summertree Place NE, 11500-block of Versailles Ave NE.
1 Commercial Burglary: 2100-block of Eubank Blvd NE.
3 Residential Burglaries: 10900-block of Hagen Rd NE, 11500-block of Versailles Ave NE, 11900-block of Summertree Place NE.
21 Auto Burglaries: 10800-block of LaGrange Park Dr NE, 11800-block of Bucking Bronco Trail SE, 200-block of Western Skies SE, 11800-block of Marquette NE, 100-block of Hotel Circle NE, 100-block of Canyon View Court, 10000-block of Menaul Blvd NE, 10900-block of Princess Jeanne NE, two incidents at the same address on the 12700-block of Indian School Road NE, 9800-block of Menaul Blvd NE, 10200-block of Santa Paula Ave NE, 10200-block of Theresa Place NE, 10300-block of Malaguena NE, 2100-block of Eubank Blvd NE, 11700-block of Easy Goer SE, 900-block of Eubank Blvd NE, 12800-block of Northern Sky NE, 10200-block of Cielito Lindo NE, two vehicles at the same address on the 11900-block of Summertree Place NE.
Trends? Unfortunately, mostly unlocked vehicles parked outside homes overnight with valuables left inside the vehicles are being burglarized at a high rate. I am seeing very few cases of auto theft and auto burglary at traditionally ‘target-rich’ environments like shopping centers, commercial hubs or apartment complexes. Has the new ‘target rich’ environment morphed into 1) residential streets with lots of vehicles parked outside and overnight 2) left unlocked with 3) property inside the vehicles and 4) easy access in and out of the area to major traffic arterial routes? Food for thought…
Have a safe week,
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command