Auto Burglary: Tallahassee’s
Considered A Crime of Opportunity
June 17, 2013
Who provides the burglar with the opportunity? The victim provides the burglar with the opportunity by leaving their vehicle unlocked or their window open. Most property stolen is left in plain view where anyone walking by the car can see it lying there.
What are their favorite targets? Anything of value. The property most preferred is cash or loose change that is left in the console or ashtray of the vehicle. They also like CD’s, wallets, purses, cellular phones, radar detectors, radios, speakers, and cassette tapes.
When do auto burglaries occur? Most auto burglaries occur at night while the vehicle is parked outside the victim’s residence. Some burglars also target vehicles that are parked in parking lots while their owners are at work, in class, or shopping. They know it’s going to be a long time before the owner returns to their car and the likelihood of being caught is low.
What can I do to keep from being the victim of an auto burglary? Park your car in a garage or parking lot that is supervised by an attendant. Park your car in well-lit areas away from places of concealment, such as alleys and behind bushes. Close your windows and lock your doors. Never hide a key in one of those magnetic key boxes, because if you can find it, so can a burglar. Take your valuables with you when you leave your car or lock them in the trunk out of sight.
What should I do if I find my car has been burglarized? Report anyone that is seen trying door handles, looking in cars or loitering in the parking lot. If the burglary is in progress Call 911. They call taker will ask you who you are and where you are calling from. Then they will ask you to describe the suspect (race, sex, height, weight and clothing description). If the burglary has already occurred Call TPD’s non-emergency number at 891-4200. Do not get inside of the car to see what’s missing because you may be destroying evidence needed to catch the burglar.
Remember, only you can prevent auto burglaries by removing your valuables from your vehicle and locking them in a safe place. Help us to protect your property.
David Northway, Public Information Office, (850) 891-4255; or the TPD Community Relations Unit, (850) 891-4251