Vehicle Burglary Prevention by Alina Lopez
In the crime prevention world, we often refer to the Crime Prevention Triangle, a concept which states that in order for a crime to occur, all three of the elements in that triangle must exist – desire, ability, and opportunity. If we can eliminate any one of these elements, a crime has not occurred. I won’t go into much detail for this blog, but I will stress the importance of making it difficult for a crime to be committed, specifically property crimes such as vehicle burglaries. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity and this is definitely where we can play a vital role in preventing an incident from happening.
Each year, approximately $1.2 billion in personal items are stolen from autos nationwide and around 1.85 million thefts happen each year with countless attempts also reported. Vehicle burglaries are one of the easiest crimes to prevent as this type of crime is most definitely one of opportunity. Of course, there’s always going to be that exception to the rule, but if we make it as difficult as possible for a thief to break in, we have succeeded in thwarting the crime.
During the holiday season, there may be a rise in vehicle burglaries for the simple fact that people may leave recently bought merchandise in their cars and along with the rushing around and distractions that holiday shopping can create, it’s a recipe for disaster. Be even more mindful during these times and double check your vehicle. Holiday season or not, criminals look for easy targets so let’s make it tougher for them to steal our property by practicing some crime prevention methods.
- The majority of incidents are to unlocked vehicles, so make sure you lock those car doors! Thieves walk around neighborhoods and parking lots, mostly at night, pulling on door handles to find unlocked vehicles. It’s much less trouble and not as messy as having to break a window open.
- Park in busy and well-lighted areas. At home, have at least one exterior light on at night at all times and some motion sensors at other spots surrounding your home.
- Use alarms and anti-theft devices.
- Remove electronics and other portable devices such as laptops and cell phones when you exit the vehicle. These items are usually the most sought after. Even spare change can be enticing enough for a thief to steal.
- When going shopping, whether it’s the holiday season or not, lock the merchandise in your trunk and don’t leave it in plain sight.
- If buying expensive electronics or other expensive merchandise, try to go straight home as criminals have, on occasions, watched and followed their target to later break in the vehicle while the victim made a pit stop somewhere.
As always, report any suspicious activity to your local police department and if you become a victim of vehicle burglary, it is important that you report the incident.
To contact our office, call 305-470-1670 or visit our website www.citizenscrimewatch.org.
Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and be safe!
Written By: Alina Lopez