650 Reports of Theft from Vehicles This Year

Published 06/30 2014 02:27PM

Updated 06/30 2014 03:08PM

Have you ever rushed into the gas station to grab a drink or pay for your gas and didn't bother to lock your car? You might want to think twice next time.   So far this year there have been 650 reports of theft from vehicles in Fort Wayne.

Police say this is becoming a very serious issue and it's time for the community and law enforcement to step up and take action.

"Public Enemy #2: Theft from vehicles."

Public Information Officer Michael Joyner says that as of Thursday, June 26th, there have been 650 reported incidents of theft from vehicles.

"If those 650 dots that you saw represented on that board over here were 650 homicides, 650 rapes, 650 burglaries, people wouldn't be so quick to glass over this.  They would say enough is enough."

Joyner says these thefts can be easily avoided.

"We are our worst enemies.  We set ourselves up for failure like no one else, and it makes it easy for the criminal type.  They just sit back and we come to them."

There are several mistakes people make, such as leaving valuable items like electronics, purses, and cash in plain view but the biggest and perhaps most common is leaving their car doors unlocked.

"No forced entry, open, unlocked, but yet they lost a GPS unit, cash, and wallet.  Unlocked, open, lost speakers, and amplifier.  No forced entry, lost purse, cash, and ID.  Unlocked, computer.  Unlocked, lost cell phone, open, lost purse, no forced entry."

As he reads recent reports, Joyner says it's clear that people are not realizing the significance of this crime.  Joyner says an unlocked car door can snowball into things much worse than a few stolen items.

"Thieves can grab your garage door opener, open the glove box, find your address on your registration, and the thief now has access to everything in your home.

To protect yourself from theft, the Fort Wayne Police Department gives this advice.
Always lock your car doors.
Don't leave valuables in plain sight.
Hide your valuables before you get to your destination
Don't leave change or cash in your cup holders.
Don't gender tag your vehicle

"We can change the patterns of crime  We can impact crime if we work together."

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