Thefts from auto incidents show a pattern in the area

Posted 9/9/21

An analysis of police reports over the past year shows a steady rate of Thefts from Autos in the area.

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Thefts from auto incidents show a pattern in the area

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An analysis of police reports over the past year shows a steady rate of Thefts from Autos in the area. On any given week in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill, there is an average of three cars discovered with a broken passenger window and items missing, frequently wallets and phones.

Over August 2 and 3, for instance, there were four thefts from autos. Three of them had very similar descriptions. On August 3, “A woman returned to her car parked on the 6500 block of Park Line Drive and discovered her front passenger window broken. Her purse was missing. Her card was used to make $538.40 in purchases at a nearby pharmacy.” Later the same day: “A man returned to his parked vehicle in the 6500 block of Park Line Drive to discover his front passenger window broken. His card was used to make $538.40 in purchases at a nearby pharmacy.”

The 14th Police District would like to make the community aware of ongoing Theft from Autos.

A new issue has developed in recent weeks:  There has been a trend of vehicles being broken into and paperwork being set on fire inside of the vehicle. Only a few incidents have been reported.

The District describes these as a “crime of opportunity,” not necessarily planned but simply easy. They recommend standard precautions:

  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle, but, if it is necessary, place them out of plain sight.
  • Place shopping bags in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Remove all electronics from your vehicle such as Cell Phones, GPS, IPads, etc.
  • Do not leave purses or wallets in glove boxes or center consoles.
  • Lock all doors and secure all windows.
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Never leave anything with your home address in your vehicle.
  • Activate any security devices for your vehicle such as car alarms and steering wheel locking devices

An additional recommendation: “Do not, under any circumstances, leave a firearm inside a parked vehicle. A vehicle is not considered a secured location to leave a firearm.” Leaving a firearm in a vehicle will result in revocation of your Gun Permit.

  • Try to park in a well-lit area.
  • Be sure to take your keys and lock your doors.
  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • Never leave your registration or insurance cards in the car, and always leave a copy in a safe place at home.
  • Do not hide a second set of keys in your car.
  • Install a car alarm and/or a secondary (“kill”) switch.
  • Be mindful of who has permission to use your vehicle

There have been other, non-park thefts from autos, frequently involving items left in an unlocked car. In some cases, the car was left running.

It should be noted not all thefts from auto, or auto thefts, were the result of drivers not taking precautions. In some cases, all precautions were taken, and the driver still discovered their car broken into, or stolen.

An additional recommendation: “Do not, under any circumstances, leave a firearm inside a parked vehicle. A vehicle is not considered a secured location to leave a firearm.” Leaving a firearm in a vehicle will result in revocation of your Gun Permit.

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