Unlocked cars prove easy marks for opportunistic thieves

January 2, 2015

Even so, BMVs way down for the year

PROSPER – A slight uptick in holiday-related burglaries of vehicles in some parts of Town have gotten the attention of police officers, says Sgt. Bryan Golden, Prosper Police public information officer.

“This is a true anomaly,” he said. “Our efforts, along with those of our residents throughout 2014, have resulted in about an 80 percent decline in BMVs. To have these in December says more about opportunity than anything else.”

BMV is an acronym for Burglary, Motor Vehicle. During 2014, the Police Department made significant strides in curbing this activity. Through November of last year, the latest figures available, Prosper residents had reported 12 BMVs. That compares to the 2013 total of 58 for the same period.

“The 80 percent drop in 2014 was largely due to our emphasis on the Lock, Take, Hide program; the Report Cards for Parked Cars program; and our continued stressing of removing or securing valuables in cars,” he said.

The Lock, Take, Hide program is designed to remind drivers to lock cars, take their keys and hide their valuables. The Report Cards for Parked Cars program was initiated two years ago. The program involves “lock checks” of parked
cars by night shift officers. Cars get a passing grade if locked, and a no-pass if unlocked. A report card is left with the vehicle to remind owners to remain vigilant in locking cars overnight.

The recent rash of BMVs has tracked the gift-purchasing season, when shoppers are tempted to leave merchandise in unlocked cars. Unfortunately, the perpetrators take advantage of the opportunity and burglarize laptops, GPS devices and purses along with the purchased items.

“Prosper is a very safe community,” he said. “It’s no secret that residents here have the resources to make significant purchases, and with the low crime rate, many residents may feel safe in leaving cars unlocked. That complacency is an open invitation to burglars.”

To close these cases, police are asking for assistance from residents in the form of video footage or personal recollection of suspicious activity. Video and eyewitness accounts can be submitted by calling the non-emergency number for the Prosper Police Department at (972) 347-2226.

“These are isolated incidences for the most part,” said Golden. “But once the bad guys see a chance for a quick take, they’ll jump on it. Locking cars and securing valuables is the best deterrent.”

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