Thursday, February 9, 2012

Someone's Knocking At The Door (Or Maybe The Window)

Readers are talking a lot about property crimes lately, including burglaries to homes and cars.
  • Carmen/Marine area:  A Facebook reader saw someone today trying to push open windows  at 5040 and 5044 N Marine.  He alerted building security.  The person he saw was a black male,  around 5'10" wearing a brownish black big-hooded jacket.
  • Montrose/Clarendon area:  Two apartments were burglarized during the day last week, one of which belonged to an elderly woman who was in the hospital at the time.  Thieves apparently entered through the bedroom window and took money and jewelry.
  • Carmen/Broadway area:  A reader reported hearing loud noises around 6pm, like a motorcycle, coming from next door.  She didn't see anyone, but found out the next day her neighbor's SUV had had its catalytic converter stolen by someone who removed it by using an electric chainsaw.  Catalytic converters contain precious metals which can fetch $100 to $150 per theft.
  • Don't forget the guy who hit two multi-unit buildings last November by gaining entry through the lobby and breaking into out-of-the-way units through their front doors.
  • Or the guys who said they were there to "measure windows" -- except neither the unit owner nor the management company had hired them.
Some quick reminders:
  • See something suspicious?  Call 911.
  • Never EVER let anyone into your building unless you know them.
  • Don't automatically buzz in anyone who rings your doorbell.
  • Lock your home's windows.
  • Got an alarm on your home or car?  Use it.  
  • Be a good neighbor and look outside if you hear a car alarm going off on your street.
  • Don't worry about "wasting the police's time."  They see the big picture and know what kinds of crime are trending.
  • Don't leave anything in plain sight in your car, even if it's something cheap.  Thieves have low overhead costs -- it doesn't cost them a cent to break your window, and anything they get away with is pure profit.
  • Here's an article on catalytic converter theft from Nationwide Insurance.
Crime happens, and you'll find break-ins and scams everywhere from Keyesport to Kenilworth.  It may happen to you at some point, whether or not you live in Uptown.  Just lessen the odds by taking the best precautions you can.

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