In the past few months, Madison's east side has seen thefts from vehicles in the retail corridors. These are occurring in areas with high volumes of parked cars, like the mall and large department stores. In order to find a way to prevent these thefts, the police department must first figure out what factors may be leading to these crimes. MPD Crime Analysts have reviewed the data and found that almost 80% of the cars victimized were left unsecured. These cars are presenting easy targets for opportunistic thieves.
Each district has a Community Policing Team. These are specialized officers who focus on what crimes are impacting the different neighborhoods and finding proactive ways to deter or stop them. The East District Community Policing Team went out to areas like East Towne Mall and used the Vehicle Report Card to notify owners of potential issues with the way their vehicles were left. Officers checked vehicles to see whether they were locked or unlocked and assessed what valuables were clearly visible in each car. The Vehicle Report Card was then placed on the windshield and notified the owner of the officer's observations.
A large number of unlocked vehicles encourages the return of the opportunistic thief because of past success. The number one way to help prevent more of these thefts is to make sure that your car is locked when you leave it unattended, even if it will just be for a few minutes. The next step is to make sure your valuables are not in plain sight or not left in the vehicle at all. These two security measures will go a long way to ensuring the safety of your vehicle and your belongings.
Follow the link below for a map of recent theft from auto activity in the East District.
Authored by Britni Sutton