Saturday, September 18, 2021

FM police: Remove valuables, lock car doors

A recent increase in vehicle burglaries is leading Flower Mound police to ask residents to remove valuables from their vehicles and lock them.

Since January, vehicle burglaries have increased in frequency in Flower Mound, according to records. In January, police took a total of 10 reports of burglary of vehicle, five in February, 14 in March, six in April, 10 in May, 15 in June, and 14 in July.  A total of 26 burglary of vehicle reports were taken in August, 34 in September and 13 through the first eight days of October.

Burglary of vehicle reports are often cyclical, says Capt. Richard Brooks, and fall into two separate categories – opportunistic kids walking through neighborhoods checking unlocked doors and burglars specifically targeting areas for purses and other valuables left in vehicles.

The recent spate of vehicle burglaries in Flower Mound are likely linked to opportunistic youngsters, Brooks said.

“Predominately, they walk down the street and check if the car is unlocked,” he said.

Recent burglary of vehicle reports indicated residents leaving such valuables as rings, electronics and cash in unlocked vehicles. Several neighborhoods have been targeted recently, including one area where police found a scooter left behind on a golf course after a recent spate of vehicle burglaries.

In the second type of burglary of vehicle, burglars will watch an area to see if individuals are carrying purses with them into gyms, stores or even to a soccer game, Brooks said. If they do not see a woman carrying her purse, they know it likely is inside the vehicle, he added.

The key, Brooks said, is to take valuables out of the vehicle whether at home or out running errands and make sure the car is locked.

The following note from Assistant Chief Wendell Mitchell recently was sent with the water bill:

“Each year, $1.255 billion in personal items and accessories are stolen from vehicles in about 1.85 million thefts.  The Flower Mound Police Department asks residents to use good judgment and the following preventative measures to greatly reduce the chances your vehicle will become a target.

“First, simply lock your car!  Even if you are running into your child’s daycare for a minute, that’s too long to leave your belongings in your vehicle, open for the taking.

“Second, remove items thieves target.  Although, some vehicle break-ins occur when nothing is left in the car, this is by far the exception.  Recently, from unlocked cars in Flower Mound thieves have stolen purses, iPods, jewelry, cash, laptops and backpacks.

“Although, there is no guarantee following these simple tips will keep you from becoming a victim of a vehicle burglary, it is a much better plan than leaving your valuables in an unlocked vehicle. Remember lock it up and take it out.”

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