Riverwalk: Auto Burglary Prevention Tips

The Riverwalk neighborhood within the City of West Palm Beach has been experiencing a rash of auto burglaries. If you see a suspicious person or vehicle in your community please call the non-emergency number (561) 822-1900. Please provide a suspect/vehicle description.

Join the West Palm Beach Police Department Crime Prevention Email Blasts by emailing ktucker@wpb.org.

Auto Burglary is a Crime of Opportunity

Most auto burglaries occur when valuables are left unattended. The thief normally seeks privacy to commit their act. Virtually any article left in plain view in your vehicle is apt to be stolen.

Who provides the burglar with the opportunity? The victim provides the burglar with the opportunity by leaving their vehicle unlocked or their window open. Most property stolen is left in plain view where anyone walking by the car can see it lying there.

What are the burglar’s favorite targets? Anything of value. The property most preferred is cash or loose change that is left in the console or ashtray of the vehicle. They also like CD’s, wallets, purses, cellular phones, radios, speakers, and GPS.

When do auto burglaries occur? Most auto burglaries occur at night while the vehicle is parked outside the victim’s residence. Some burglars target vehicles that are parked in parking lots while the victim is at work, in class, or shopping. They know it’s going to be a delay before the owner returns to their car and the likelihood of being caught is low.

What can I do to keep from being the victim of an auto burglary? Park your car in a garage or parking lot that is supervised by an attendant. Park your car in well-lit areas away from places of concealment, such as alleys and behind bushes. Close your windows and lock your doors. Never hide a key in one of those magnetic key boxes, because if you can find it, so can a burglar. Take your valuables with you when you leave your car or lock them in the trunk out of sight.

What should I do if I find my car has been burglarized? If the burglary is in progress, Call 911. The call taker will ask you who you are and where you are calling from. Then they will ask you to describe the suspect (race, sex, height, weight and clothing description). If the burglary has already occurred, call our non emergency number, 822-1900 to report the crime. Report anyone that is seen trying door handles, looking in cars or loitering in the parking lot.

Auto Burglary Prevention Tips

Remove visible items from your vehicle – If you leave items visible in your car, you are a target. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat, especially at a gym. Take these with you or secure them in your trunk.

Lock Up!

* Lock your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick errands.

* Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into the vehicle.

* Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.

* If your vehicle has an alarm and use it!

Personal Information – Black out the address on your registration and photocopy it. Keep only the copy in your car. (You must have the registration available to present to a police officer upon request). Do not leave your mail in your car, avoid leaving your garage door opener in your car if possible and do not attach personal information to your keys, If your mail, garage door opener or keys are stolen, having your personal information only compounds the problem. A criminal now may have access to your home, automobile or office.

Remember, only you can prevent auto burglaries, remove your valuables from your vehicle and lock them in a safe place. Help us protect your property.

 
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