July 9, 2019
In April 2019, the Takoma Park Police Department launched a “Theft from Auto Spring Initiative – If they see it, they can steal it.” Our number one goal is to protect lives and property through proactive measures to make our community a safe place to live, work or visit.
During the spring, we sent out over 270 letters to residents or persons visiting the City regarding items left in vehicles in plain view of officers canvassing neighborhoods. The items that were left in vehicles were purses/wallets, music CDs, backpacks and duffel bags with items inside them, cash/coins, clothes/shoes, phone chargers, GPS units, car keys, laptops, jewelry, sunglasses, tools, cell phones, Bluetooth headphones, gym equipment, briefcases, handicap placards, shopping bags with items inside, and U.S. mail. In addition, many of the vehicles’ windows were left open with the property in plain view.
The biggest help a community can give its police force is information, when you see something out of the ordinary, suspicious person(s), or vehicle(s), call and report it. The fact of the matter is that we cannot be everywhere at once; we need your eyes and ears to help us in our efforts of making our community as safe and crime free as possible.
If they see it, they can steal it! We ask that you continue to keep your valuables safe and be sure that your purse, cell phone, laptop, or other valuables are not left lying in plain view in your vehicle, be aware of whether or not you locked your vehicle, and make sure you have your keys with you at all times; these are all situations of opportunity that criminals look for to victimize good law abiding residents.
We are wise enough to know that no matter where we live in this great nation, there will be some type of crime that occurs. However, we can make it more difficult for the thieves to steal property by following some basic crime prevention tips, such as removing valuables from your vehicle, or hiding your valuables from plain view (such as in your trunk), locking your vehicle, and taking your keys - you are less likely to be a victim.
Let’s make a difference together! If you see suspicious activity, on the street or in a parking lot, call Takoma Park Police at 301-270-1100.