Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Don’t be an easy target!!
If you read today’s crime report, you’ll notice that we had a rash of incidents involving thefts and attempted thefts from cars over the weekend. Almost all of the victim vehicles were unlocked and parked in front of the owners’ homes or in their driveways. Most contained some sort of portable item that could easily be sold or bartered for cash or drugs. (As a side note, detectives report that many criminal offenders with drug addictions admit that they support their daily habit by committing just these types of relatively low-risk larcenies.)
This weekend is not unique. Thefts from vehicles is one of our most prevalent crimes, but it is also one of the easiest to prevent!
I know that I have published these tips in the past, but since good advice is worth repeating, here are some reminders:
- Lock your doors. Every time. When you leave your car, say goodbye and then hit that little lock button on your key fob so the car chirps at you in reply. The simple act of locking your car will discourage most thieves from drawing attention to themselves by breaking in.
- Don’t leave anything valuable in the car. If you absolutely can’t take it with you, then lock it up in your trunk or hide it out of sight. Don’t make it easy for the bad guys to window shop.
- Record the serial numbers of your belongings. When you purchase an item with a unique model name and serial number, save the paperwork! You have a much better chance of having your property returned to you if it can be entered in the stolen property database and subsequently identified through the manufacturer’s number. This also helps the police connect the dots with strong evidence.
- Report the crime. We really don’t mind taking a report even if the property stolen had little or no real value. Your case could be connected to other incidents, and all of those pieces of information are very useful in solving an investigation.