Unsecured valuables are open invitations to thieves

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dean F. Parrish
  • 4th Security Forces Squadron
Base housing residents have been paying a heavy price for leaving their car doors unlocked and property unsecured in carports or garages.

In nearly all reported thefts on base this year, the thieves entered the car, carport or garage through an unlocked or open door.

Many victims say they always lock their cars when off base, but not when on base. Often residents say because they live on base their property is safe and fail to take the time to lock up their property.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who want other's property and don't think twice about helping themselves.

Crimes of opportunity are easy-picking for thieves, and leaving property in plain view and unsecured provides them with a golden opportunity.

Of the last eight reported thefts from cars and carports in base housing, only one vehicle was locked. 

Thieves stole a variety of property including portable music players, personal data assistants, cell phones, bicycles, a wallet and three purses containing credit cards, identification cards, checkbooks and other personal papers.

Property owners must take the lead to protect their property by doing the following:

- Lock all doors and windows while home or away.

- Do not leave items of value in plain view while vehicles are unattended, even when the vehicle is locked.

- Get acquainted with your neighbors. It helps in identifying people that don't belong.

- Know who is coming into your home; control access.

- Report any suspicious activity.

- Call the police immediately. Try to get a good description without getting in harm's way.
Here are some additional suggestions to help in recovering stolen property:

- Record the make, model and serial numbers of valuables such as cell phones, electronic equipment, lawn mowers, tools and computer systems.

- Mark valuables with a state driver's license number.

- Take color photographs or home videos of jewelry, electronic equipment, antiques, collectibles and other valuables.

To report information about crimes, call the base crime stop phone number at 722-2508 or the 4th Security Forces Squadron's Office of Investigations at 722-2097.