This month, the Aventura Police Department will be focusing on “follow out” burglary crimes. An emerging crime problem is occurring all over the United States and unfortunately the City of Aventura is not immune to this problem. This crime occurs when a victim makes large purchases of expensive items such as iPhones, computers, jewelry or large cash withdrawals from the bank. The subjects, usually working in teams, watch business locations for these transactions and then follow the victims to their vehicle. They will then follow the victim to their next destination and break into the vehicle to steal the cash, or recently purchased goods. The good part about these types of vehicle burglaries is that they are 100% preventable with education of your customers. Simply advising your customers to make sure that they do not leave these items in their vehicle if they are not going directly home will prevent this crime from happening. It is important that you educate and warm customers of the dangers of leaving items in their vehicle. Even if the victims lock the items in their trunks or “hide” the cash or items in their vehicles, the bad guys will find them and take them. Below are some other vehicle burglary prevention tips that you can also share.
1. ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOORS! More than 66 percent of all Pasco vehicle burglaries involve unlocked car doors!
2. NEVER leave valuables in your vehicle. Citizens often leave cash, jewelry, cellphones, laptops, purses, wallets, backpacks, GPS systems, cameras, and other valuables in plain sight inside a vehicle. This is too tempting for thieves, and even if your door is locked, they won’t hesitate to break your windows to steal these items.
3. NEVER leave documents that contain personal information in your vehicle, such as bank statements, credit card statements, and other financial statements. These can be used to steal your identity!
4. If you can, park your vehicle(s) in your garage. If this is not an option, keeping the area around your vehicle well-lit can help to prevent an auto burglary.
5. DO NOT leave purchased goods in sight in the vehicle as you continue to shop, especially during the holiday seasons. Take them home before you continue your shopping.
6. Car burglars know if your vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, such as in an SUV or truck. Don’t think you can hide valuables inside such vehicles. Thieves know where to look!
7. Away from home, park in well-lit areas in a highly visible location. If you see something suspicious, find somewhere else to park.
8. Always report suspicious behavior to the Aventura Police Department, such as someone looking into parked cars or trying to open several parked car doors.
9. Keep a list of serial numbers of any electronic equipment in your vehicle, such as a car stereo or DVD system. This can assist law enforcement in returning any equipment to you that is stolen.
10. Utilize a car alarm.
Together we can make sure that Aventura residents and visitors do not fall victim to this type of crime!