Protect Your Property
West Grand Neighborhood Organization
By Esteban Moreno, ATPA VIN Technician
It is almost like clock work that around the fall time that the mischievous begin to act up. In one night alone this month there were over 42 malicious destruction of property reports which appeared to have been done by the same suspects. The damage was described as possibly being done with a BB gun which was used mainly on vehicle windows. Some of the damaged vehicles may not have been reported. Other reports included several other vehicles. There are no new leads at this time.
Fall brings cooler weather especially in the mornings causing frost to form on the windows. This is the start of people leaving their keys in the vehicle while it warms up either in their driveway or street. It only takes seconds for a passerby to jump in and drive it away. The first thing a suspect does is find a location to take the valuables out and dispose of car seats and items that could not be used. Most times the vehicle is abandoned shortly after. On rare occasions it is driven for several days.
There are things to prevent larcenies and theft. The first is to use your neighbors as extra eyes. Talk to those that live around you and on your block. Each of you should agree to take care of each others property and protect your families. Numbers turn criminals away. The more people they see watching their activities the less likely they will carry out their plans. Stand together and be on the phone with the police. Give good descriptions and locations. If any weapons are brandished or seen go inside and stay in contact with the police. Remember you do not have to identify yourself. Let the police handle the rest.
Remember to keep all valuables out of plain view and never leave them in the trunk, During the holiday seasons many feel the trunk is a safe place but criminals know enough to check the trunks. Van's are no better even though the glass is tinted. Obviously leaving computer bags, backpacks and purses doesn't help. Alarms both factory and after market are a plus. Never leave firearms anywhere in the vehicle. Report any vehicle break ins and be vigilant.
For any further questions regarding vehicle theft prevention call West Grand Neighborhood Organization at 616-451-0150 or e-mail the West Grand Neighborhood Organization ATPA VIN Technicians at ATPA@westgrand.org
Funds for this program are provided by the Michigan Auto Theft Prevention Authority.