Defeating theft before it begins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Franklin City Police Department issued a warning recently to car owners about a rash of break-ins and thefts from vehicles.

It was a warning that could have been issued to any property owner: Take precautions to protect belongings.

As the weather continues to get warmer and the days get longer, more people take to the outdoors, and not just along the city streets in Franklin.

But using the city’s experiences in recent crime for examples elsewhere, the recent break-ins don’t appear to be related.

In some instances, the vehicles were unlocked, and other times, windows were broken to gain access to the items. Some cars were parked on the street, and others in driveways.

Thefts have involved anything from dash-mounted GPS units and stereos to money and credit cards from purses.

The point is that thefts have occurred in various places.

Neither warm weather nor a sinking economy have been substantially blamed for increases in thefts, according to most studies. But the mathematical odds indicate that when more people are outdoors, the higher the likelihood of random thefts.

They’re outside, they see something they want, they might be tempted to take it.

There are common-sense defenses, police say:

– Never leave your car or home unlocked. Make sure windows are up and all doors are locked.

– Never keep valuable items in your car or in plain sight. The inconvenience of protecting your valuables is preferable than having them stolen.

– If at all possible, keep your car parked in a well lit area.

– Be sure to record serial numbers of your valuables in case they are stolen. This will assist police in the recovery of your items.

– If you observe suspicious people around your car or property, call the police. Do not wait.

No one is immune to theft, and following all of these tips is not foolproof defense.

But why take chances?