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Car Prowls Increase in HAND Neighborhood

car_neighborhoodPrevention is Key to Keeping your Valuables Safe
Havilah Ferschweiler, Southeast Crime Prevention Coordinator

Okay, bad news first. Car prowls in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood are up. The car prowl statistics for October 15th-November 15th of this year are up from the same time frame last year. Last year, there were 8 car prowls in the neighborhood during that time. This year, there were 18. That’s a pretty significant increase. Seven of those car prowls happened overnight between 10/29/09-10/30/09 and four more occurred on Halloween night. But the good news is that car prowls are one of the easiest crimes to reduce with increased awareness and change in habits. Car prowls are most often a crime of opportunity, which is why prevention is such an important component.

The most important key to reducing car prowls is to keep your car “showroom clean”. You’ve probably heard people say that you should keep your car cleared of valuables. We actually suggest that you keep your car cleared of any belongings to decrease the interest of potential prowlers in the contents of your car. Thieves may not know that your cell phone is broken or that your gym bag only has dirty socks in it. In the meantime, you have the potential of paying an insurance deductible or more to replace the damage to your vehicle, in addition to the stress and aggravation.

We often hear people tell us that they left their valuables in their car because they were only running in to their home or business for a couple of minutes. Again, this is a crime of opportunity. You don’t need to leave a computer or a purse in your car for long, if the wrong person happens to see it on your front seat. It’s important that you take your belongings with you regardless of how long you plan to be gone.

Last, but certainly not least, always report suspicious activity to the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333 and crimes in progress to 911. It’s important for neighbors to keep an extra eye out for any suspicious activity in your neighborhood and to encourage other neighbors to read this article and keep their cars clear of items. If you are a victim of a car prowl, make sure to make a police report by calling the non-emergency number. This is how we know where and when to focus extra police attention and prevention resources. It’s important that we all play a role in keeping our communities and business districts safe.

Here is the link for the Portland Police Bureau’s Guide to Home and Vehicle Security http://www.portlandonline.com/police/index.cfm?c=29869&a=31554 for more additional tips or you can contact Havilah Ferschweiler, your neighborhood Crime Prevention Coordinator at 503-823-0540 or hferschweiler@ci.portland.or.us.

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