Theft Prevention Tips for Summer

Now that summer is here, one of our burglary/theft supervisors came up with several tips for people in hopes of reducing  thefts.  The following is based on recent cases that have come across his desk:

From Sgt. Chris Hall, West Precinct Burglary/Theft:

Car Prowls

  • Leave nothing of value in your car-either leave it at home or take it with you.
  • Some thieves will break in just for some loose change or a pack of cigarettes.
  • If you must leave something of value in your car, put it in the trunk well before you park.  We know some thieves watch for people putting items into the trunk and then break into the trunk.
  • Do not cover your iPad with a sweatshirt or jacket and leave it on the front seat.  Thieves have figured out that trick.
  • Do not leave backpacks, shopping bags, computer bags or anything that might contain a valuable item in plain sight.  Thieves will break your window just to see if it is worth taking.
  • Consider not keeping your garage remotes in the car-thieves will break in, read your reginstration/insurance card and see where you live in your apartment building, and then take the remote to access the building.  Take the remote with you if possible.
  • Do not leave your gun in your car.

Bicycle Thefts

  • Use a lock, even if you are going into the store for “just a second.”  It takes a second to steal an unlocked bicycle.
  • Register your bicycle with the National Bike Registry- for a nominal fee they provide stickers for the bicycle and facilitate recovery.  Go to http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/ for more information.
  • In garages and apartment buildings- do not leave your bicycle attached to the bike rack on your car or out in the open-the more you can secure it behind doors and with a good lock, the better.  Remove a wheel if you can, thieves are generally lazy and ride away on stolen bicycles-not easy to do without a wheel.

Burglary

  • As the weather turns warmer, we are more apt to leave windows and doors unlocked or even open.  For a few dollars you can buy window locks that allow you to open the window and get a breeze, but keep the opening too small to allow entry.
  • Visit our Safety and Prevention page for more information- http://www.seattle.gov/police/prevention/default.htm

General Tips

  • Take a moment to jot down all of your serial numbers; bicycles, cell phones, GPS units, iPods, computers, televisions, etc.  Having a serial number increases the odds of recovering the item.