Preventing Crimes of Opportunity
A review of June crime reports reveled the Department investigated four instances of thefts from vehicles totaling:
- 6 vehicles entered without permission
- $8,654 in lost property
- Unlocked doors on all of the vehicles
While the circumstances in each case were a little different, and the responsibility for the crime falls on the perpetrator, the commonality in all of them is the fact that doors were left unlocked. This is a crime of opportunity. Arrestees in the past have told officers that they intentionally pull on door handles, bypassing cars that are locked and entering those that are not.
Furthermore, Problem Oriented Policing - getting to the root cause of crime - tells us that to prevent a crime of opportunity we need to:
- Remove the offender – prevent access or deny his / her motivation
- Provide a capable guardian – keep a watchful eye on your property
- Remove the opportunity for crime – don’t make it easy for the perpetrator
When we park our cars, regardless of location or time of day, even in our own driveways, we can’t always be sure a thief may not come along, we can’t always be watching, but we can lock our car doors to take away the opportunity.