The Will County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to lock your vehicle doors whenever you are away from it. Together, with municipal law enforcement agencies, the Sheriff’s Office is on high alert to combat the frequent reports that we are receiving for burglaries to unlocked vehicles. Police believe that there are several crews of offenders working in areas throughout the county with no noticeable pattern. Because of the speed in which these crimes happen, it is very difficult for law enforcement to catch them. We would like to reiterate to the public that if you see any suspicious vehicle or suspicious person in your neighborhood, please call the Sheriff’s Office or your municipal police department. Although police have increased their efforts in patrolling neighborhoods, the residents who live there can be a key factor in alerting police early on to potential offenders in their areas.
The Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind citizens not to leave their vehicles running without being inside of them. Several vehicles have been stolen in recent months when the owner started the vehicle to let it warm up and re-entered their home. Within a matter of seconds, the vehicle was gone. This also means if your vehicle is parked inside your garage with the garage door open.
FACT: Burglary to a motor vehicle is a crime of opportunity. That is to say, this crime takes literally seconds, the rewards can be great, and the chances of being caught are low.
FACT: It only takes literally seconds to lock your vehicle in order to decrease your risk of becoming a victim, keeping your property, and not having to deal with insurance companies and law enforcement.
It seems like common sense yet we continue to receive reports from victims on a consistent basis.
Here are some simple reminders/tips:
1) - Lock It Up! Whether your vehicle is outside or inside a garage. Lock It!
2) - Tidy It Up! Thieves do not know what’s inside the bags you have in your car, but they are willing to steal it and anything else that may be inside your vehicle.
3) -Put away phone chargers, electronic cords/cases. These are items that let the thief know that you may have, or do have, valuable electronics inside.
4) - If you are out shopping, put purchased items in your trunk and bring it inside when you get home.
5) -Roll those windows all the way up.
6) - Park in well-lit areas. Keep outside lights on at night.
None of these tips are 100% guaranteed but taking a few seconds or minutes from your day may greatly decrease your risk of becoming a victim. Every vehicle left unlocked is an open invitation to thieves. –end-