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Orland Park Police Department
Thursday September 16th, 2010 :: 07:28 p.m. CDT

Advisory

Auto Burglary Alert- The Orland Park Police have seen an increased number of auto burglaries in the last month

The majority of the burglaries are items taken from unlocked vehicles. There have been a few that have involved forced entry.

The reported auto burglaries have occurred in the late evening to early morning hours. Items taken include I-pods, portable GPS navigation systems, wallets, credit cards and laptop computers.

All auto-burglaries generally have one thing in common: something to steal ... something valuable left in the car. And, many auto-burglaries are "crimes of opportunity"; they could have been avoided had simple preventative steps been taken.

Auto-burglary prevention, like all crime prevention, involves limiting the criminal's ability and/or opportunity to commit the crime. With very little time and effort, you can make a huge difference in your vulnerability to auto-burglary.

It generally takes a mere few seconds to secure your valuables, but it will take only a few seconds more for a thief to break in and steal valuables left in plain sight.

AUTO-BURGLARY
PREVENTION TIPS...

The first thing you can do to help: Don't leave valuables in your car - particularly not in plain sight!

Are your valuables VISIBLE?
Don't be the next car burglary victim!

The last thing you need is to find your vehicle's window broken or items missing. We suggest taking these simple but important steps to maintain your car's safety:

Don't leave valuables in your car. That sounds like "common sense", but drivers/passengers do leave items of value in plain view every day. If you leave valuable items visible in your car, your car is automatically a target.

Leave no trace. Don't leave any "sign" that there might be valuables "out of sight" in your vehicle, such as docking stations or connector cables. Leave nothing in "plain sight" that might make your vehicle worth "investigating" by a thief; not even loose coins or a CD.

Just leaving an empty docking station in plain sight, even if you've taken the high dollar component with you, may end up costing you hundreds of dollars to replace a broken window because the thief wanted to check your car for "hidden" valuables. Very few auto break-ins are "random" — the thieves see "something" in plain sight that's valuable, or hints of possible hidden valuables.

Lock ALL your vehicle's doors even if you plan to be gone for only a brief time. Every year, we have items stolen from unlocked vehicles where the owner was only going to be gone "just for a second". It only takes seconds to steal your stuff! It's not at all uncommon for thieves to walk down a row of parked vehicles and check vehicle doors to see if they are unlocked. Don't leave any window open or even cracked open, including vent/wing windows and sunroofs.

Set any alarm or anti-theft device. If you have one, use it! Many people believe that car-alarms no longer make a difference, but they can be an effective deterrent to an auto-burglar, who most often chooses the easiest target. If they have two cars to choose from, one with an alarm and one without, they will likely burglarize the one without (unless you've left out valuables just too good to ignore!)

Locking your car and setting your alarm is just part of the solution. Even if locked and alarmed, if you leave valuables (or the hint of valuables) in plain sight, a thief may target your car, even knowing it's locked and alarmed. But, without a clear prize in sight, a locked/alarmed car will likely be bypassed for an easier "target of opportunity".

Don't think your dark tinted windows will hide your valuables. Thieves often use flashlights to see through tint, and after-market tint is handy to keep all the broken glass in one "sheet" when they break out your window (and toss the broken window into your back seat or passenger seat to hide the evidence of the break-in from passersby).

Don't use "hide-a-keys". Thieves know the best places to hide those. But remember, just "locking" isn't enough. Keep your car OFF the target list of the thieves by keeping all hints of valuables totally out of sight. If they see something tempting, they certainly can break in.

REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY

If you see suspicious activity, report it to the Orland Park Police Department at 911.

Address/Location
Orland Park Police Department
15100 S Ravinia Ave
Orland Park, IL 60462

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 708-349-4111

Scott Malmborg
Investigations
smalmborg@orland-park.il.us
708-364-8116

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