Two young men were walking down the street in Woodhaven, Queens - in broad daylight. It was obvious what they were doing, they were checking one door handle after another, hoping to find on that was not locked. Eventually, they found one - the door opened and one of the young men slipped inside while the other remained outside, standing watch. In just a few moments, the young criminal was able to pocket everything the car's owner had left behind. The scene was caught by a resident's security camera:
It only took a few seconds and a resident was left frustrated and feeling violated. This happens every day in neighborhoods around New York City and many of these cases go unreported to the police. Why? Because in many cases the amount stolen is very small, so the owners do not feel it is worth reporting. In other cases, the victims feel that because they did not witness the crime, there is little that the police can do.
Here is something to remember - these crimes should ALWAYS be reported to the police. They need to know what is happening. The data you feed them may help them notice patterns, which will help them apprehend these criminals on their next crime spree.
Most importantly, though, there is one thing we should all make sure we are doing: MAKE SURE OUR CAR DOORS ARE LOCKED. As you can see in the video, these petty crooks keep trying car doors until they find one that is open. Don't let YOUR car be the one they find success with.
The NYPD offers the following advice when parking your vehicle:
Park in a well-lit area to discourage a personal attack and reduce the risk of your car being stolen. Look around before exiting your car. Close all windows and lock the doors. Take any valuables with you.
Thy have also released a list of safety tips you should review to make sure your possessions are as safe as possible:
- Do not leave satellite radios, portable GPS system, or suction cup on windshield whether temporarily parking or parking overnight.
- Do not leave wallets, purses, backpacks, jewelry, credit cards or any other valuable property in your vehicle while it is parked.
- Do not leave cell phones or other electronics in the glove compartment.
- Activate any theft deterrent devices you may have.
- Do not leave packages or valuables in the vehicle.
- Do not keep your license, registration or title in the vehicle.
- Make certain that your vehicle is locked.
- If possible, park in a bright, well lit area.
- If you have a garage, use it. Lock both the vehicle and the garage.
- Install video surveillance within the vicinity of the garage or driveway where your vehicle will be parked.
- If you have video surveillance conduct periodic maintenance to make sure they are in good working condition.
- Position the cameras so that it will be able to capture a good image of an individual’s face but secure enough to prevent any possible tampering.
- Install wheel locks on your vehicle to help deter theft of tire and rims.
Also, you can contact the 102nd Precinct Crime Prevention Officer at (718) 805-3217 or Community Affairs at (718) 805-3215 to arrange to have your vehicle VIN etched.
You can learn more about the 102nd Precinct by attending your local Woodhaven Residents' Block Association meeting, where the 102 Precinct regularly attends and gives local crime reports. The next Woodhaven Town Hall will be held on Saturday, January 21st 2017 @ 12:00 p.m. at American Legion Post 118 - 89-02 91st Street – (91st St and 89th Ave).
You can also attend the 102nd Precinct Community Council meeting - the next one is Tuesday, January 17th at 7 p.m. at the Richmond Hill Library (118-14 Hillside Avenue).
You can also click here to view/follow the 102nd Precinct on Twitter.