We are still seeing an upswing in car break-ins in Austin, so I am reposting this!
1. Burglary of cars are still a big issue in our area.
Did you know that most car break-ins could've been avoided? Take, Lock, and Hide so Your Car is Safe!
A lways lock your car, even when you will be gone a few seconds. Don't leave any window open or even cracked open, including vent/wing windows and sunroofs.Set any alarm or anti-theft device. If you have one, use it!
U nload your valuables immediately, including your phone and garage remote. Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary, and certainly never overnight.
T ake anything that might tempt a thief: loose coins, docking station, loose cables, CD. f you have an after-market stereo/CD-player with a removable faceplate, remove it. Without the faceplate, the unit is less attractive/useful to many thieves, and harder to "fence". If the unit can be pulled, pull it!
O pportunity. Stop and double-check before you step away from your car. Did you miss anything that might tell a thief to take a second look? Remember without a clear prize in sight, a locked and possibly alarmed car will likely be bypassed for an easier "target of opportunity".
2. APD is also seeing issues with people pretending to be solicitors, but who are actually casing streets, looking for easy targets. We are still seeing a trend with these people pretending to be security companies, but now we have some that are posing as couriers, and leaving notes about packages to be 'delivered'! PLEASE do NOT give any stranger information about when you will be away from your house, or whether or not you have a security system, etc. These kind of questions should be red flags!
The North Austin Coalition of Neighborhoods has a tip sheet on how to handle solicitors, and you can download it here:
3. Over 40% of houses last year were broken into through the front door. If you have a deadbolt/strikeplate that is not correctly installed, it only takes 2 kicks and 20 seconds for a criminal to get through your front door. Please check out this website. The quickest, cheapest fix is to simply replace the screws holding your strikeplate to the frame with 3 inch screws - and it costs less than $2! You might also want to check out this website, which shows you how to make your front door even more secure:
4. Learn How to Check Crime Stats for Your Street. You can sign up for Spotcrime alerts which will send you an email every day of crime that just happened around your street. You can also go to krimelabb.com and check the crime, and details of that crime, that has happened (it runs about two days behind because they get the data as APD releases it) . Download this flyer for instructions on how to do both:
We also have ready made flyers to pass out to your neighbors if you want to tell them about any crime you are seeing! Click on Watch in a Box and download the Crime Block Alert. We also have a flyer for car break-ins because people asked for it, and that's the Alert-Auto Break-In
Please check crime and please get out the word to neighbors!
5. Finally, it doesn't hurt to remind everybody to 'Do the Five'! We are going into the summer months, and many of us will be away from our homes more often. The house on either side of you, and the three across the street are your 'Five'. Keep an eye on your Five, make sure to pick up any trash that makes yards look untidy, and double-check to make sure there is no newspapers or flyers that advertises somebody is not home. Parking one of your cars in the driveway of a neighbor on vacation is another easy way to confuse the criminals. Also, we all get busy in the summer months, so we strongly encourage visitations by the lawnmower fairy. Its a small way to let a neighbor know that yes, we really do care about each other, and we don't mind helping each other out!
We will also be putting out a Summer Safety Special Edition the last Friday of this month. Please check back, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We can all make our neighborhoods safer!
Editor, North Austin Community Newsletter