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Friday, April 19, 2024

Focus on Safety – Awareness through education


The City of Naperville continually ranks among the safest cities in the country. Safety is no accident. The Naperville Police Department is dedicated to working in partnership with our residents to provide a safe place to live, work and conduct business.

A critical part of effective crime prevention requires a focus on current crime trends impacting the community and sharing that information with our residents. Being aware of the types of crimes happening so you can implement specific crime prevention strategies to avoid being a victim and keep your family safe are this month’s focus for the Department’s Safer Naper campaign.

For example, in the first six months of 2022, crimes against property including motor vehicle theft, burglary to motor vehicles and theft of motor vehicle parts (such as catalytic converters) are a top crime trend.

There were 83 burglaries to motor vehicles reported in the first six months of 2022. Did you know over 80% of these crimes are happening to unlocked vehicles? Stop giving criminals an open invitation to steal your belongings. Take away the opportunity for this crime to happen by removing valuables, locking your vehicle and taking your keys with you.

Locking your vehicle will also greatly deter or thwart someone trying to steal or attempting to steal your vehicle. In the first half of 2022, 25 vehicles were reported stolen in our City, and 83% percent of these thefts were to unlocked vehicles! The easiest way to avoid being a victim is to lock your car, whether it’s in the garage, on the street, in a parking lot or in your driveway. “Lock it or Lose it!”

Naperville, just like many other cities throughout the country, has been experiencing a high number catalytic converter thefts. In fact, catalytic converters make up most of the 94 motor vehicle parts that were reported stolen in the first half of 2022. Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed over the past few years because of the lucrative money to be made from the precious metals they contain. What can you do to prevent a catalytic converter theft?

  • Pay attention to suspicious people in the area. Call 911 immediately if people are hanging around vehicles.  Often, one person will be on the lookout while another is under the vehicle.
  • Listen for power tools in use during the overnight hours (Sawzall).
  • Always lock the vehicle and set the alarm. Increase alarm sensitivity if possible.
  • Park in a well-lit spot.
  • Engrave your vehicles VIN number on the catalytic converter. This will help police identify it if the converter is recovered.
  • Paint the catalytic converter with high temperature automotive exhaust spray in a bright color. Spray-painting negatively affects the resale value of the part; thus, making thieves less interested in cutting them out of a car.
  • Install a catalytic converter shield as an anti-theft measure.

The Naperville Police Department has many ways in which residents can learn more about crime trends and prevention strategies. Sign up for Naper Notify, visit the City’s website and NPD’s social media sites and access our Public Safety Incident Map.

For more information on resources and prevention tactics as part of this month’s Safer Naper campaign, visit www.naperville.il.us/ASaferNaper.

Until next month… Stay Aware and Stay Safe.

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Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.


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