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  • Car broken into What can we do?

    Last night two of our cars were broken into and the contents inside were stolen. This has happened 3 times in the past 1 1/2 years. We live outside of Hampstead, Md which is a safe rural community not associated with crime in any way. We filed the police report every time and a state trooper has come but they always say there is nothing they can really do. They said "it's just kids out causing trouble." Now I dont disagree its kids causing trouble but there has to be something that they can do to help solve this annoying problem.

    My question is is there something they can do, but they just arent doing it, or is there something we can do?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated!
    PPD

    Application Turned in - 3/10-2008

    Written Test - 5/31/2008

  • #2
    If this were a very common occurrence in the area, they could possibly set up dummy cars in the general area and wait and wait and wait and wait... This isn't likely. In this day of budget cuts, police are extremely limited when it comes with theft related crimes. (...and wait and wait and wait and wait) Unless we actually see it occur (and how often is that), or respond after some alert citizen alerts us as it is occurring there really isn't much we can do. I suggest if this is an ongoing problem, you might want to invest in some video cameras, better alarm system, or perhaps organize a neighborhood crime watch.

    A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

    It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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    • #3
      This is a property crime that occurs hundreds of times every hour/day. If the suspect does not leave evidence at the scene such as fingerprints or their wallet (yes we have had that happen) it is near impossible to solve that crime from a patrol officer level. Additional resources are usually spent on the highest priority incidents......3 vehicle burglaries in a year and a half are going to take a back seat to other events.

      You are going to be the best resource for solving this type of crime. Security cameras, neighborhood watch, etc will provide the police with more information to work with.

      It is not that the police dont care or want to help, but there is only so much they can do on a minor property crime even though it is very frustrating to the victim.
      Last edited by Fuzz; 04-28-2007, 11:52 AM. Reason: text correction

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Daniel_Tuttle View Post
        Last night two of our cars were broken into and the contents inside were stolen. This has happened 3 times in the past 1 1/2 years. We live outside of Hampstead, Md which is a safe rural community not associated with crime in any way.
        FYI - property crimes are crimes. You seem to have some youngsters, or dopers, who enjoy breaking into automobiles. In CA that is a FELONY - 459 CA Penal Code - burglary/auto (if the doors were locked. But, there is little that law enforcement can do unless they observe it while on patrol.

        If it becomes a neighborhood problem the police may set up surveillance - but that is doubtful.

        I would suggest that you invest in a inexpensive video camera and connect it to your recorder. Perhaps you can catch them in the act and be able to identify them.

        Good luck!!!
        Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

        [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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        • #5
          YOU the VICTIM can make double sure that no stuff is out in the open. DONT leave C.D.s, purses, radios, I=Pods visible in the car
          HIDE them. Dont give the thief the oppurtunity to steal your stuff.
          I got nothing for now

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          • #6
            What can we do?

            You didn't specify what type articles were taken from the vehicles in question. In many, if not most, crimes of this nature, there is much the victim can do to prevent them. It is never a great idea to leave articles in a vehicle that can be easily stolen. Lock these in the trunk if they must be left in the vehicle. Certainly thieves often go after factory installed radio, speaker systems, etc,but they have to at least do a little work to remove them. A great deal of crime is committed because victims present tempting opportunities for the bad guys. It's not so much what the police can do to prevent these crimes. (Believe me, we want to), it's what potential victims such as yourself can do.

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            • #7
              There's only one way to prevent your belongings from being stolen from your vehicle.

              Don't leave them in the car. If it's valuable to you or it can identify you, don't leave it in your car.


              You might still get a broken window or a punched lock, you might even lose a radio or speakers still, but as PhilipCal stated they'll have to work for it. Don't rely on the fact that you live in a crime free area (rural or otherwise), there's no such thing.

              I've handled thousands of cases in over 11+ years as an auto theft/auto burglary detective and only a handful each year ever result in any property recovery, let alone an identifiable suspect that I can arrest.

              Don't leave ID of any kind in the car. Don't leave credit cards, credit card offers, bank statements, mortgage statements, wallets, purses, birth certificates, and on and on and on ad infinitum... If you must leave things in your car, then at least record the make, model and serial numbers. If you can't or won't take a few precautions to protect your valuables, there's nothing that any police officer can do for you.

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              • #8
                Set up a Video Camera from your house, better to spend $ on a good set of camera that record, think about the amount of $ you have had stolen/property replaced, bet the camera was cheaper to purchase and install.
                DISCLAIMER: All opinions are mine, they do not reflect the opinions or position of my employing agency nor do they reflect any position of my agency.

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                • #9
                  You live in a safe rural community and you can't keep your cars from getting broken into, but a trooper who patrols a large area containing thousands of people and thousands of cars is supposed to keep your two cars from being broken into? How exactly is that supposed to happen? Don't leave valuable in you car, invest in an alarm system, install outside lights or motion lights and park your cars benath those. If someone wants to break into your car, they're going to break into your car. You want to convince them that it will be safer and easier to break into your neighbor's car.

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                  • #10
                    I never said I expected the trooper to protect us from it ever happening, I simply asked what are some steps other people are taking to prevent this from happening. Also we did not leave valuebles in the car. They stole the radios from the cars. How are we supposed to take the radios out every night?

                    Both of the cars are parked right in front of our front door with security lights and motion lights. Both of the cars were locked and one has an alarm system but it did not go off for some reason.
                    PPD

                    Application Turned in - 3/10-2008

                    Written Test - 5/31/2008

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Car broken into.

                      Daniel, you asked the question, you got answers. Perhaps not what you wanted to hear, but truthful answers in any case. Law enforcement agencies are not in the guarantee business. There are a whole lot more miles to cover than there are Troopers, Deputies, and City Officers to do it. As was noted in a previous post, there really is no such thing as a crime free area. Certainly, some areas are less crime prone than are others. What you might consider is some legal, pro-active steps you and your neighbors can take to at least minimize future thefts from your vehicles ,etc.

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                      • #12
                        You asked what the police can do "that they just aren't doing" and that struck a nerve with me. Maybe your intent and my interpretation are not the same. Do the stereos have face plates? If so, remove them at night. Also, record the serial #'s of the stereos in case they are stolen again. As mentioned, consider a video system to record your cars at night. I don't know what kind of wildlife issues you have, but you may also want to consider one of the various perimeter alarms that lets you know when something "large" is on your property. You can put up "no trespassing" signs and signs indicating the area is under video surveilance. You can put up reward signs for anyone providing information that leads to property recovery and conviction of the suspect. Is it time or is it feasable to build a garage or simply a high chain link fence holding area?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Daniel_Tuttle View Post
                          This has happened 3 times in the past 1 1/2 years. We live outside of Hampstead, Md which is a safe rural community not associated with crime in any way.
                          My question is is there something they can do, but they just arent doing it, or is there something we can do?
                          If it has occurred 3 times in the past 1 1/2 years, then sir, Hampstead Md has crime! There is NO way to prevent these types of opportunistic crimes. Where there is a will there is a way. Don't leave anything in your car, get an alarm (motion sensor, where tapping on the glass will activate it). BUT EVEN then you might get hit.

                          Generally juvs or cranksters go around breaking into cars for just kicks or what appears to be no apparent "booty". Cranksters will take ANYTHING even things that don't mean any sense. Get this, someone stole my sewer hose for my rv! Ughhh..can't imagine why...but it happens.

                          Park your car in a well lit area..or install a motion sensored light. BUT that can be defeated also.
                          This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

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                          • #14
                            We have a 2 car garage. My parents park their cars in here. Me and my sisters cars are left outside. I am currently looking into video servailance. No the radios that were stolen did not have face plates, they were regular factory installed radios.

                            The reason why I said "that they just aren't doing" because we have also complained about people driving 90 MPH on our road (its a 35). We have reported this problem with driving about 20 times since it always happenss but they do nothing. They only time they are even in our area is when they are called (which is on a very rare occurence) So I don't doubt they are busy and im sure they are but instead of sitting at the Gas station where they hang out for 2 hours (that is no exxageration, (I used to work across from a gas station and a MSP, and two count Sherriffs sat there talking for 2 hours), so instead of doing that how come they cant set up a speed trap or something. So since they didn't do that I didn't know if they would do the same thing on this case.

                            I have nothing but respect for LEO and I want to become one and im not trying to pick a fight I was simply wondering what other steps can be taken.

                            I appreciate all the advise I have gotten and am currently looking into video equimpment.

                            Thank You
                            PPD

                            Application Turned in - 3/10-2008

                            Written Test - 5/31/2008

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Car burglaries are hard to solve. Most don't leave evidence and no one ever has serial numbers of their car stereo so it goes uncleared most of the time.

                              If I had a pat answer for this one I'd copyright the idea (or would that be a patent?) and get rich. It's a booming crime because it's relatively low risk and not hard to do.

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