Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crime Prevention Tip...

I know this sounds like common sense, but...

DO NOT leave your stuff out in plain sight inside your vehicle, and lock your friggin' doors. I know this is going to be hard for most of you non cops to believe, but bad people really do roam your neighborhood in the wee hours looking into cars and stealing things. I know, it's shocking huh? Your neighborhood? Noooo, that could never happen in my neighborhood. Yes..... it can and it does.

I really hate it when I get a detail for a vehicle burglary, and the reporting party tells me a laptop was stolen from the front seat of the car. I just want to smack them upside the head. WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? Or I suppose the more appropriate question would be "Were you thinking?"

Let me give you some insight into the mind of a thief. I think I'm going to go to a nice neighborhood where people can afford to buy nice stuff, and I'm going to steal some nice stuff. I don't want to expend any more effort or make any more noise than I have to, so I'm just going to low profile it and look into cars as I pass by. If I don't see anything in your car, I'll probably just keep walking. If I see your laptop, or your camera, or money, or something else of value laying out in plain sight in your car, I'll check the door and see if it's locked. If it is, I'll probably break your window and reach in to take your property, then I'll hightail it outta there.

I have seen some pretty unbelievable stuff stolen out of cars in my city. Laptop computers by the dozens, cameras, cell phones, backpacks, briefcases, radar detectors, money, Ipods, a television, a chainsaw, and (think about this one) a gun. I haven't a lot of sympathy for these people.

I'm not really sure what the hell people are thinking when they leave their stuff in their cars. Cars are not secure storage places. If you have absolutely no other alternative, leave your stuff in the trunk so it's out of sight. If you are clueless enough to leave your valuables in your car, please don't whine to me when it mysteriously disappears.

8 comments:

Damsel Underdressed said...

Somebody else just wrote about this same subject not too long ago. I think it was Christopher at The Warrior Poets.

Our local guys had posters made to place all over town reminding people to do what you just said. Then they had little business cards printed and they, themselves would gather all of your things...ipod, cell phone, etc. and place them on your driver's seat with their card. They would then lock your car for you. Most of the time, it is just a stupid oversight on the civilian's part and they would have quite the surprise waiting for them in the morning.

punchykoos said...

Good advice. I stupidly left my ipod on the front passenger seat and my car was broken into. What pissed me off wasn't that it was stolen, I had that coming for being careless, but the thief chose not to go the obvious route and break out the passenger side window, instead they went through the front windshield, making much more work for them and also making the car undriveable. That I don't understand. Do you see many cases of car prowlers taking the path of more resistance to get into a vehicle?

Moose said...

When I moved into my current craphole, er, I mean, apartment, all the online reviews said, "your car stereo will be stolen." I didn't think anything of it because my car stereo was so low end.... well... http://mizmoose.livejournal.com/209153.html if you care to read my short but humourous (well, to me) tale.

And, no, I didn't report it. I would never waste the time of the police like that. My laptop, however, goes with me *everywhere*. I usually don't leave it on the table of coffeehouses when I go to the bathroom.

Mad Jack said...

I haven't left anything of value in my car for years. Years. I can't believe anyone else actually does, but it happens. Last week the nice lady at the 7-11 had her purse stolen. She had left it in the back seat of her car, and in the ten minutes it took for her to come into work and realize that she'd left her purse in the car, it was gone. One broken window and one missing purse.

Thanks for the tip.

Black Ice said...

But they're not supposed to break my window!! That's illegal! You'd almost think thieves didn't respect the law!

I know it's frustrating, Officer. It amazes me to this day that there are so many people out there who simply don't comprehend the criminal mindset. They follow 'the rules' so fully and so blindly that they're totally unable to fathom a simple fact: some people simply do not care about the guidelines of civilized behavior. In the words of radical feminists everywhere, "They Just Don't Get It."

I do whatever little bit I can, to try and teach these folks about protective measures and situational awareness. It usually falls on deaf ears, but every now and then, with certain people, I think I've gotten through.

And half the time, they show up a few months later with a story about how they were just robbed last week. (sigh)

Officer "Smith" said...

punchykoos,

I can't say I have ever seen a thief go in through the windshield. That sounds more like it started out as a vandalism and became a theft.

Laura said...

That is excellent advice and it just paid off for me. I drive an old beat up car and I never leave anything in my car that is worth stealing aside from a few dollars worth of toll money so I never bother locking any of my doors. I always figured that anyone that wanted into my car that badly would be able to get in but at least I wouldn't have a broken window. Apparently that is not true since someone smashed the driver side window of my car while I was at work a couple of days ago. They only stole a couple dollars but still, I wish they would have tried one of the doors first:( Do you get a lot of cases where they don't even bother to check the doors before they start smashing?

kchesney said...

I don't usually comment on your blogging, but I will make an exception for this. I had a 1994 Honda Del Sol, wonderful car. (Beat to all hell from my college years in Boone, NC). It was broken into 3 times in a week. 1st time, they took the remote for my the radio (had no batteries and didn't work) that was on the passenger seat. While breaking in, they broke the passenger door lock so it could not be unlocked anymore. 2nd time, they took face plate for the radio, not the radio just the face plate, and they LOCKED THE CAR BACK when they were done. 3rd time, they took the cigar a buddy had brought back for me from his trip to Cuba. I made the mistake of putting it in the LOCKED STORAGE BOXES behind the seat. Come to find out, one of the guy's in the apartment complex worked at a local garage where he copied my key when he fixed my flat tire. I was not the only one he got in the complex before he was busted.