Beware: Opportunistic thefts from anything left unlocked are on the rise in our neighborhood!
We continue to be the target of persistent opportunistic criminals who take advantage of anything left unlocked. This has been a problem for years, but I am hearing and reading about increased reports in the past month.
There have been multiple reports of stolen bicycles. The pattern seems to be an entry from an alley and into an unlocked garage. The thieves appear to be selective to choose expensive bikes, sometimes ignoring several other good bikes and scooters in the same locale. Having a description that distinguishes your bike and its serial number offers some minor hope that TPD can recover a stolen bike from a pawn shop or their impound lot.
Many unlocked cars have been entered and searched for whatever can be lifted. It is typically loose change or GPS units or such. Recently, our HELP Officer was instrumental in making an arrest of a young man originating from a neighbor’s report of someone checking cars. He was picked up leaving our neighborhood on foot, sporting expensive women’s sunglasses, and a pocket full of change that totaled $30.
There has been one entry reported, and one attempted entry, to a primary residence through an unlocked side or back door.
Not inside our HPPI boundaries, but nearby and within our “Beat and Grid”, a thief stole a BMW. It was not only left unlocked but had the key fob inside.
Information we can confirm so far is that the crimes I am referencing are occurring near or after midnight into the early morning hours. We know from reviewing several videos caught on doorbell cameras that there is more than one criminal and pair of criminals consistently working our streets and alleys. We have videos of criminals that cruise nonchalantly, but persistently, up and down a street, checking the door of each car they pass and then signaling to their accomplice when they find one to search. The videos are not clear enough to identify the suspects, but certainly the pattern of behavior. We have seen the older bikes in relatively bad shape that the criminals have dumped in an alley, in favor of the high-end bikes they have stolen from a garage or back yard. Just today, I had to file my own report and the policeman who came out confirmed these patterns.
I have repeatedly discussed all of this with our HELP Officer program. They are starting their shifts later in the night, paying more attention to the alleys, and have confirmed they are covering all the streets in our boundaries.
If you see something suspicious, but it is not an emergency, please call the non-emergency police number: 232-6130. If you do get hit by these crimes, please let me know so I can help pass along information that might build more intelligence to catch them. And, PLEASE, remember to lock everything up!
Marylou Bailey, HPPI Neighborhood Watch and HELP Coordinator