Suburban Cops Try New Methods To Warn Public About Car Thefts

Bernie Tafoya
September 07, 2018 - 1:36 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A couple of suburbs are thinking outside the box to try to stop a rash of car burglaries and thefts. 

In Posen, Police Chief William Alexander said there have been a number of car burglaries recently and so this week, he had officers on the midnight shift check for unlocked car doors over two nights.

“We did it three blocks in from our border and three blocks in from the other side, and it was 22 cars the first night, 29 the second [that were unlocked>," he said.

Chief Alexander said when officers found unlocked cars, they locked them and left a crime prevention notice for the owners.

Meanwhile, in Orland Park this week Cmdr. Tony Farrell said the village sent out “20,507 cards to Orland Park residents reminding them of the importance of making sure their vehicles are locked.”

The postcards read:

Dear Orland Park Resident,

The Orland Park Police Department would like to remind all residents to continue to lock their vehicles. In the past months, we have experienced a high number of thefts from UNLOCKD VEHICLES. We would like to remind everyone to continue to lock their vehicles and hide their valuables. It’s equally important to report suspicious activity. If you see something say something now!! Follow Orland Park Police Department on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information on issues that affect you and your neighbors.  

Orland Park Police

Cmdr. Farrell said that, for the past month, Orland Park police officers have also been putting reminder crime prevention sticky notes on cars found parked in driveways, locked or not.

“If the keys are in the car, they’ll take the car. If there’s a gun in car, they’ll take the gun,” Cmdr. Farrell said.

In Palos Park, police have issued “hundreds of letters reminding residents to lock up their cars.”

Among the tips given:

• Remove all valuables (backpacks, cell phones, purses, wallets, sunglasses, GPS systems, keys, iPod’, shopping bags, cigarettes, etc) from your vehicle

• If you must keep valuables in your vehicle, store them in your trunk

• Never leave a spare vehicle or house key in your vehicle

• Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit area and lock your doors

• Protect your insurance and registration documents as well as your garage door opener (Carry them in your wallet or conceal them)

• If your garage door opener is stolen, ensure you change your system code

• Install a car alarm, or use “the club” to lock the steering wheel

• Use locking screws for your license plate.

In the northern suburbs, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said there were four car burglaries and a couple of SUVs stolen this week in Long Grove.  In most cases, he said, the vehicles were not locked.

Sheriff Curran said the unlocked cars sometimes have keys or key fobs inside them, making it much easier for the vehicles to be stolen. 

“Fob is laying in the back seat or wherever and it’s just get out of the car and figure, ‘what the heck’,” he said.

The sheriff says simply, “it’s important to lock your car.”