It's one of the most common crimes in our area, and perhaps one of the most frustrating to you. We're talking about car burglaries. And with the holidays coming up, you're going to be more at risk. Washoe Country Sheriffs Office shows us how to “TAKE ConTRoL”.
Detective Ralph Caldwell is with Washoe County Sheriff's Office Property Crimes.
That includes car burglaries, of which his department is seeing an increased number--particularly in the Galena area.
“It was close to where a lot of these people lived... met in a centralized location, divided up the neighborhood,” says Detective Caldwell, describing the suspects.
The detective says it can happen in any neighborhood, business, or street.
The common denominator is: there's an opportunity in which a thief will take advantage.
That's why the sheriff's department has come up with "Take ConTRoL."
As an example, we had Detective Caldwell go through the KOLO parking lot to see common mistakes.
The first precaution: "C"... clean valuables from the car.
“Breach this window and have a GPS. Someone will be willing to bargain with me either for money, or controlled substances,” says the detective as he peers inside one car with a GPS on the dashboard.
"T"... take keys with you.
“I think all of the agencies in this region see a spike in vehicles being stolen because they are left running in driveway,” says Caldwell.
"R"... report suspicious activity, even if you think it's unimportant--the detective says if someone is walking around the neighborhood, looking at cars or valuables near homes, call the non-emergency number with law enforcement.
'This car right here is open so I'm gonna get in like it's my own car,” says Caldwell as he opens the door to one unlocked SUV in the station parking lot.
"L" stands for lock your door every time.
“And immediately within seconds, I'm gonna go through glove boxes, center console, there is change right here that's going to come with me. There is a garage door opener right here. If I'm gong to comb through the glove box, I'm going to see the registration and address. I know where you aren't. You are not at the home, so I might run by there, hit the door opener, and see if there is anything in the garage worth pilfering,” Caldwell says inside the SUV, describing what would happen next in the criminal's world.
Of the four points, the final--lock your car every time-- is the most important.
If everyone did it, Caldwell claims we could cut car burglaries by 70%.
As part of the sheriff's information campaign, one thousand postcards will be mailed out to the Galena area with the “Take ConTRoL” information.
While all neighborhoods can use the advice, the Galena area recently has seen the most car burglaries.