Police: 92% Car Burglaries Through Unlocked Doors

Police: 92% Car Burglaries Through Unlocked Doors

Every year about this time, police departments throughout Kane County issue a press release or newsletter post reminding us that car burglaries are preventable.

Do we listen? Maybe a little, but probably not closely enough.

As our contribution to the cause of crimestopping, here’s a repost from the excellent city of St. Charles Police Beat. Read the latest issue.

Car Burglaries Are Preventable

A quick look at the past year of crime statistics in St. Charles shows a continuing trend.

The vast majority of burglaries from motor vehicles that occur in the city can be prevented. How? Lock your vehicle doors, no matter where you leave your vehicle or for how long. That’s it!

Of course, keeping valuables out of plain sight (ideally, not left in the vehicle at all) helps to reduce victimization, too. However, the information gleaned from reports shows that simply locking the doors is all the deterrent a burglar needs to move along.

Burglars, whether they’re of the vehicle, residential or commercial variety, don’t want to be seen or heard. Their goal is to get in and out as quickly as possible with as many of your valuables as possible. That makes unlocked vehicles the easiest target, and simply because your car may be parked in your driveway does not mean it’s not a target, to which many residents can attest.

Between January and March of 2015, 92 percent of vehicle burglaries occurred either on a residential street or in a residential driveway. The means of entry in every single burglary from motor vehicle report during the first quarter was through unlocked doors.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.16.36 AMIn this rare instance, truly 100 percent of this particular crime was 100 percent preventable.

As you can see in the table at left, the majority of vehicle burglaries occur during the overnight hours. Midnight-shift officers on several occasions, including during the first quarter of this year, have caught offenders in the act of committing this crime in neighborhoods. Offenders simply walk up and down residential streets and pull on car doors until an unlocked door is found. They then ransack the vehicle and look for anything with a high resale value, (typically electronics like laptops, tablets and GPS units) and cash.

It’s also noteworthy that quite frequently, either the victim or an area resident will hear noises during these crimes, or their dogs will start to bark, but will brush it off, perhaps thinking an in-progress crime is the last thing happening. Do not ever hesitate to call 911 if you see or hear something that is out of the ordinary.

Trust your instincts. They’re usually correct, and they could help catch an offender!

SOURCE: city of St. Charles Police Department