On the Beat with Stacy Eaton

On the Beat 
Stacy Eaton

Welcome to On the Beat!  A weekly feature that tips on keeping you and your family safe in this fast changing world. 

Today’s Topic: 
Theft from Vehicles
When it comes to stealing things from INSIDE of cars, Thieves really don’t care what kind of car it is that is the target.   Normally, they strike at night when you car is parked outside and they have the cover of darkness to conceal them as they work.  These thieves mostly look for opportunity, unlocked doors with electronic devices inside.  
Here’s the scenario: You have to stay late for a meeting, or you spend the afternoon and evening running the kids around to all their sport practices after school.  You are tired and the last thing you think about is hauling in your laptop, purse and your kids Ipod.  You climb out of the car, hustle the kids inside, or go grab the mail and never think twice about your car again. 
Sometime later while you sleep, there is a stranger walking down your street.  They slip from house to house, slowly testing car doors to see if any of them are open. Bingo! They pull the door open slowly, making sure no alarm will sound and they slip inside your car.  In less then a few minutes, they are done and gone and on to the next one. 
Morning comes and you are in a rush to get to work or get the kids back to school. You push everyone out the door and rush to your car.  As you open your door, you freeze.  Immediately, you see your glove box open and papers thrown around inside. Dread washes over you as you start to think, what did I leave in my car and you remember that laptop bag with your important documents in it, or your realize you purse is no longer there. 
What do you do? 
First off, don’t touch your car. Second, understand your day just got put on hold and you are going to be late. Third, step back and call your local police department. Departments have policies on how they process these types of scenes.  Advise them you have not touched your car and let them decide how they wish to proceed. 
How NOT to be a Victim:

  • ALWAYS lock close your windows and Lock your doors. I don’t care how safe you THINK your neighborhood is, this is a crime against property and it happens EVERYWHERE!  (If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, but this is a safe neighborhood, I’d be on a cruise right now chilling out.)
  • DO NOT leave electronic devices sitting out in the open. GPS units & IPOD are best sellers on the streets and in the pawn shops thanks to you.  
  • DO NOT leave money sitting in your console or cup holder that can be seen.  This includes change.  You would be surprised how quickly change adds up when you hit 9-10 cars in a night.  Enough to buy some crack or enough marijuana to keep them happy for a little while. 
  • Park your car in the garage if you can. If not – make sure the outside is equipped with a motion sensor light. 
  • If you hear or see something suspicious at night, please pick up your phone and call 9-1-1 or your local police department.  If it raises your suspicion, it is enough to make the call. You live there, you know what is normal. 
Thank you for reading “On The Beat” today! I hope this information will help you from becoming a victim! Please make sure to share it with your friends and neighbors too! 

Join my next Saturday when I start a 2 part series on 
Safety for Women
Buckle up, Don’t drink and Drive and always Be Safe!