On the Beat with Lt. Schoeppner

LT. SchoeppnerOn August 16, I saw a news story which really struck me as an excellent teaching moment. It said Atlanta Police were looking for two men who had been breaking into cars at the parking deck of the Georgia Aquarium. This was unique because the suspects had brought their kids along to divert suspicion while they committed their crimes. This is a perfect illustration of the lengths that some people will go to make your stuff theirs.

So, this month we’ll talk about some of the precautions you may take to keep that from happening. Since our news story was talking about entering autos, let’s focus there.

The truth is that if someone has enough desire, they will almost certainly find a way to steal from you. The positive side of this is that most criminals are lazy and looking for easy marks. The gentlemen on the news represent some extraordinary effort. Knowing this, we can then look at things we can do to reduce the chance that we are targeted.

The first precaution can be taken before you even leave your house. If you’re going somewhere like the gym or a park, consider leaving things like your wallet, phone and electronic devices at home. Entering autos are prevalent at gyms because criminals know most folks will leave their valuables in their cars. Hotels are another target because travelers will sometimes not take all of their luggage with them into their rooms.

Simply put: don’t leave your items in your car. If leaving your valuables at home is not an option, then take them with you. If your stuff isn’t in your car it can’t be stolen from there. This is especially true if you park your car in a carport or on the street in front of your home at night. If taking items with you is not an option, then make sure to keep them out of plain sight. If a criminal can see there is something they want in a car, the chances are greater that they’ll try to get it.

Next, pay attention to where you park. Criminals will be more likely to target a vehicle parked in a remote location than one parked close to the building or where there are a lot of witnesses. They are also more likely to target cars parked in places where the lighting is poor to conceal their actions.

Lastly, pay attention to the people around you. Most of the time, parking lots are transitional areas. You park and then go to the store, park, gym or wherever. When you’re done at your destination, you go to your car and leave. If you park and notice people hanging out in the parking lot, it could mean that they are there for something other than visiting that venue.

If you follow these simple steps, you can greatly reduce the chance of your property being stolen. Even if someone breaks into your car on the chance that something’s there, you won’t lose any additional property.

Police Blotter

Caught in the Act
At just after midnight on August 5, Tucker officers responded to the Hidden Meadows Townhomes for an entering auto call. The victim told officers he had looked out the front window of his home and noticed that the front door to his Dodge Ram truck was open. When he went outside to investigate, he found a male suspect in the front seat looking through the vehicle. The victim used his body to blick the door to the vehicle so that the suspect could not flee. Officers responded and took the suspect into custody.

Resisting Arrest
On August 18, Tucker Evening Watch officers responded to a theft at Billy Bob’s at 3962 Lawrenceville Highway. When the officers made contact with the suspect they discovered that he was intoxicated. They attempted to arrest him, but he resisted and bit one of the officers on the arm. The suspect was arrested for assaulting an officer, public intoxication and theft.

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