Crime: In Your Car, Keep It Free Of Break-In Magnets
Part III of Patch's ongoing crime prevention series examines why you need to keep your vehicles free of anything that could entice a thief to break in.
Let's face it: If you live in Atlanta, chances are you spend a good chunk of your life behind the wheel to get from Point A to Point B.
And for many of us, that means being stuck in metro Atlanta's famous slow-moving, traffic-congested streets and highways.
So it's understandable that our cars sometimes serve as mobile, mini-storage units on wheels.
But in this third installment of our four-day series on crime and how to decrease your chances of being victimized, we look at our vehicles.
Atlanta police have spent the last several months touting the department's "Clean Car" campaign, in an effort to get motorists to remove things like mobile phones, GPS systems and even loose change from sight.
Even so, people continue to leave things like iPads, purses and CDs in their vehicles — irresistable to thieves hunting for things to pawn for cash, says Lt. D. Brent Schierbaum, evening watch commander of the Atlanta Police Department's Community Liaison Unit.
Nothing is beyond temptation — boxes, loose chargers, even your gym bag with your sweaty, smelly clothes, he says.
All of those things are enticing to crooks looking to make some quick cash to support their alcohol and drug habits.
Even GPS mounts are enough of an enticement to break in because theives know that in a lot of cases, if people leave their empty GPS mounts on the dash or windshield, chances are, they've hidden the GPS machine itself somewhere in the car.
Best practice, Schierbaum advises: Take everything with you or pack it away out of public view before you leave your home.
Here's a breakdown of auto thefts and larcenies that were reported between Jan. 1 and April 28 to APD:
|Auto Thefts||% Change From Last Year|
|Citywide||1,403||UP 1.01 percent|
|Zone 6||226||UP 13.57 percent|
|Auto Larcenies||% Change From Last Year|
|Citywide||2,665||DOWN 2.13 percent|
|Zone 6||574||UP 15.26 percent|
The Crime Series:
Wednesday: Protecting Your Home, Business And Community
Today: Clean Car Campaign