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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Focus on Safety – Lock it up


Summer is officially here! Unfortunately, as temperatures rise, so do the number of property crimes reported to Naperville Police.

One of the most commonly occurring crimes in the Naperville area is burglary to motor vehicles. This is the unlawful entry into a vehicle to commit a theft. In most cases, this is a preventable crime. Last year there were 137 reported burglaries to motor vehicle incidents and 91% were no force entries. The means these vehicles were UNLOCKED at the time of entry. Additionally, of the 50 motor vehicles that were stolen in 2022, force was only used in 10% of the incidents. Meaning the keys had been left in many of the vehicles that were stolen.

In many cases, burglary to motor vehicles and vehicle theft are preventable crimes. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim:

  • ALWAYS LOCK your vehicle. This is the best way to avoid becoming a victim to this crime of opportunity. It may take seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise, and criminals hate making noise. Even if your vehicle is parked in your driveway, keep it locked!
  • Do not leave your property in plain view. Remember to hide valuables BEFORE you park. If a criminal sees you put a laptop or purse in the trunk, they’ll just break into the trunk when you leave.
  • Never leave the keys in your vehicle. No matter how quickly you are going to run in and out of somewhere, take your keys with you!
  • Take all valuables out of your car. Don’t leave money, smart phones, laptops, wallets, purses and other items in plain view to tempt would-be thieves.
  • Park in well-lit areas that are not secluded. Remember, criminals don’t like witnesses.
  • Call 911 immediately to report ANY suspicious or unusual activity. Be prepared to provide vehicle (make, model, color, plate) and suspect (gender, race and clothing) information.
  • If your vehicle is burglarized, call the police department immediately and try not to touch the vehicle until the police have a chance to search for evidence.

“Locking It” just doesn’t apply to motor vehicles. Lock your home doors, windows and close your garage, too.

Until next month… Stay Aware & 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.