Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Crime Alert: Garage Break-Ins

Hello UU, We live in the 4400 block of North Malden and wanted to inform you (and your readers) that early on Monday morning all three of our garages were broken into via the steel doors that we use to enter them from our residences. Crowbars or similar objects were used to pry open the doors and the three cars that were locked had windows smashed in to rummage through the cabins, glove boxes and trunks. Those that were unlocked had no damage but there was a laptop computer stolen from one of the trunks. This, and about $15 in parking quarters is what these criminals netted. We received thousands in damages, mounds of paperwork to file with insurers and, most gravely, a loss of the sense of security and safety we had just the day before this horrific incident. Police informed us it might be better to just leave our cars empty and unlocked in the garages at all times.

We are unsure if the culprits jumped the fence or walked through our neighbors' always unlocked and usually open front gate and then through their side gate, also unlockable. As a rule we always close and secure our gates and it is actually physically impossible for the main ones to the property to be left ajar without a heavy doorstop. I know it has been said numerous times, but I walk my dog around this neighborhood every day and see buildings that are completely open and unsecured. Thankfully no one was injured by these dangerous people, and I know it has been said many times on Uptown Update, but we can never be diligent enough about the safety of our property, ourselves and our families & friends.

We aren't looking for pity party but we feel this is probably not an isolated incident, and it could happen again, and likely will since they got away with it. And it is not to place blame, but I personal feel very strongly about every building having working lights, motion lights if possible for added security, locked gates and doors for everyone's protection. I urge all condo associations to ensure these practices, and for renters to demand this right to a safe, secure property from their landlords. It only takes one time leaving a gate open or door unlocked for something like this to happen, and it really has caused financial hardship as well as emotional distress for all of us.


  1. Does Uptown Update have a RSS feed? That would be awesome!

  2. Found it!

    You should post a link in the sidebar... woot!

  3. First off I am very sorry to hear about this! My car was also the victim of a smash and grab so I feel for you.
    One thought may be to have an alarm installed on your garage- they are not that expensive and it may reduce your insurance rates. Hey any kind of deterrent may cause the burglars to think again if they hear a 110 decibel siren!!
    With that said- we all need to look our for each other and show people that Uptown can be safe place to live.

  4. Lots of bright light, especially those motion lights that come on when someone crosses a specific area... and video cameras, maybe even get a couple of those decoy cameras so that they break those in trying to hide their actions instead of the real cameras.

    Sorry about your loss. I know that sucks. Had my place robbed one time...By the guy down the hall from me and his girlfriend! They were found pretty quickly, though. Long story.

  5. Thanks for the heads up. Are your garages between Malden and Magnolia or Malden and Beacon? I have noticed activity picking up in the alley area between Malden and Magnolia.

  6. this also happened on sunday night, west of clark st. watch out all!

  7. I live on the 4400 block of Dover and over the past few months have had our car entered at least twice. Our neighbors have had the same problem. We don't have a garage, only spots behind our house, and in all cases we haven't had windows broken. Seems like the culprit is targeting cars either left unlocked or with doors they can somehow jar open. In all cases they've stolen our parking meter money, since we don't keep anything else in the car. At least once we've woken up to car alarms going off behind our house (likely someone trying to get into a locked car). We have very bright lights over our cars that turn on at dusk and our cars are right by our deck, which is feet from our bedroom. Living in Uptown, I'm not sure what you can do to deter these kinds of things from happening. It is oddly comforting to know it's a problem for everyone, however.

  8. I have a solution-
    1. Buy a LARGE Pit Bull
    2. Do not feed it for a few days
    3. Put in your UNLOCKED car at night
    4. Wait forpunk to break into car
    5. Enjoy the fact that the Punk will never try to break in your car again- and your Pit Bull will have a free lunch!!

  9. Do you have and use a deadbolt on the doors? Three or four years ago someone hit most of the garages in the 900 block of Agatite (including the three in our building) using a crow bar or similar to open the doors accessing the garages from the building. On that particular rampage, they were unable to get into the garages which had a dead bolts on the entry doors. We speculated that getting through the dead bolts would have caused a lot more noise.

    Our building added dead bolts onto all the doors and put up a motion activated light.

  10. This is horrible, but not surprising-as it is information that the police have noted in their 23d district bulletin. It has apparently been a pattern for quite a while this year. What I'm curious about, is why UU fails to publish a Crime alert I notified them of regarding increased gun violence in my area. The following is information I sent to them after a July 3 AFTERNOON shooting on my street:
    Wednesday, July 8, 2009
    Gunman Fires on W Windsor Ave Fri Morning
    Children and adults alike were either already outside enjoying the day, Friday, July 3d, or getting ready to leave to enjoy one of the many activities in the city this last weekend. That is when 5 or 6 shots rang out on West Windsor, spraying through the street towards Sheridan, according to those who saw a lone gunman brandishing a firearm. Inside a home very near the shooting, I closed my eyes in hopes that it was merely fireworks, given the Fourth of July Holiday weekend, but knew given the timing and intensity of the shots, that it was not. Also, the shrieks of children screaming for their parents to let them inside for cover confirmed this knowledge I never thought I would have before moving into Uptown. I then thanked God that I had forgotten my keys before I left the house, as I would have been in the exact path of the bullets at the exact time they left the gun. Several neighbors call 911. Police eventually dispatch and arrive, only to find that the gunman is gone. As far as Ive been able to discern, this gunman has not been found. Yet the gangs that patrol the streets were back in their usual spot 10 minutes after the shooting.This is not surprising to me, however, as this street has gotten out of control for the last four months. 911 calls to no avail by the whole community. "Parties" until 5:00 AM in the street. What is happening?