By Officer Larry Jacobs
Having your car broken into is no laughing matter. In police jargon, it’s called “entering autos.” Basically, no matter what it is called, it stinks.
Entering auto’s is an epidemic, not just in Sandy Springs or metro Atlanta, but in the whole U.S.
The reasons why are endless, but several of them are the economy, the ease of the crime, the time it takes to do the crime, the ease of selling the stolen products, the portability (i.e., the size) of the items that are stolen and that you don’t have to be a skilled criminal to break a window.
Let’s go over each of these issues.
The economy is the first one. This is more of a theory and actual proof is hard to come by.
The next one is the ease of the crime. It literally takes seconds to break out a side window, reach in and steal the stuff out of your car. In many cases, a car alarm does not help because a door is never opened, which needs to happen in order for the alarm to be activated.
Next is the ease of selling the stolen goods. There are many websites out there where you can just about sell anything and sell it quickly. These sites are good if you’re looking to sell legitimate things for legitimate reasons, but not if it’s your stolen stuff being sold for quick cash.
The next one is the portability (the size) of the stolen goods. Cellphones, IPods, IPads, GPS, jump drives and laptop computers are easy to hide and conceal while they are being carried around by a bad guy.
Lastly is the skill level needed to commit the crime of breaking a window, reaching in and stealing your belongings. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 requiring the most skill, entering auto perps have a skill level of “0.” In other words, it’s really easy.
Now, let’s talk about how we can prevent this crime. In a nutshell, remove the items from your vehicle. Whether you’re at work, home or shopping, you really should take these items out of your car. At the very least, hide them in your trunk, but put them there before you get to where you are going.
There are dozens of signs around public parking areas that the SSPD has put up; Lock your car; Take your keys; Hide your belongings.
Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org