The Community Alert is to provide our residents with helpful information to help protect their neighbors and themselves from crimes that have occurred in the area or crimes that are common for the specific time of the year.
We spend a lot of our time in our vehicle travelling to and from work, the store, or a family or friend’s home. Our vehicle becomes almost like a second home or office to many of us. We often bring information from work into our car, or we work from our car. We have our phone, iPad or tablet, MP3 player, wallet/purse, money, and GPS unit in our vehicle. We become so comfortable in our car, thinking of it like our home or office, and we often forget that to some opportunistic criminals our vehicle is an “Easy Target.” The South Holland Police Department provides a few tips to help make your vehicle a “Tough Target.”
LOCK YOUR VEHICLE DOORS
It’s hard to believe, but almost all vehicle burglaries occur simply because the vehicle doors are unlocked. Criminals are opportunists; if you give them an easy opportunity, they will take it.
ROLL UP YOUR WINDOWS
Even while you are pumping gas, roll up your car windows and secure your vehicle. While you are focused on the price at the pump, the “Bad Guy” is focused on what you have in arms reach of your open window.
KEEP VALUABLES OUT OF SIGHT
A “Bad Guy” can simply walk by your vehicle and window shop for any of the items that you leave in plain sight. This includes, but is not limited to,phones, GPS, iPods, iPads, purses and wallets.
NEVER LEAVE BAGS IN PLAIN SIGHT
Keeping items out of plain sight does not mean simply placing them in a backpack, duffle, or computer case. “Bad Guys” know what a computer case looks like, they know what a backpack on the seat might contain, and they even know what a pile of stuff hidden under a blanket or coat on the floor of your car looks like. Your vehicle is only as strong as the windows and it takes only a few seconds to break a window, grab your items and be gone before you even know what happened.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE RUNNING
If your vehicle is not equipped with a remote start, do not leave it running in your driveway or garage (even for “just a few minutes”). Leaving a vehicle running in the driveway is a golden opportunity for a cold, wet and lazy “Bad Guy” to be warm, dry and relaxed while driving to their destination. Leaving a car running in the garage can cause a carbon monoxide build up that can enter into your home and have deadly consequences.
Be mindful of:
- Persons around the neighborhood who you do not recognize as residents.
- Teenagers on a school day who are walking the area.
- Someone knocks on your door and asks for a person who does not reside at your home. This is simple way to see if anyone is home.
- You see someone in your neighbor’s backyard that you do not recognize.
- Someone carrying property at an unusual hour, or in an unusual location, or the person is running with the property.
- Parked, occupied vehicles containing one or more persons could be possible “look-outs” for a burglary or other illegal activity.
- Persons leaving a parked vehicle and walking or running directly into backyards.
- Work trucks in the driveways of vacant home either very early in the morning or late at night.
Make it difficult to become a victim of opportunity by:
- Making sure your vehicle is secure, windows up and doors locked.
- Securing your vehicle at gas stations, fast food restaurants, or running into the house to retrieve something, even for a few minutes.
- Not leaving anything of value or importance (such as cell phones, laptops, iPads, briefcases, purses, etc.) in your vehicle while parked, even for a few minutes.
- Paying attention when parking your vehicle and being aware of who is parked next to you. If you have a bad feeling about the occupants in the car next to you, safely move to another parking spot.
- Using your GARAGE. A garage offers a tremendous amount of security for your vehicle.
- If you do not have access to a garage, try parking your vehicle in a spot on your driveway that is close to a motion light or porch light that remains on overnight, rather than on the street.
Lastly, know your neighborhood: If you see or feel something is suspicious, please call the South Holland Police Department immediately. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right, and the Police can help.
South Holland Police, working with you.