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1. LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS. Pay close attention to your key fobs and be sure you are pressing the LOCK button. When you lock up your house for the night, take an extra minute to double check that your cars are locked also. Our undercover officers have observed on more than one occasion suspects trying car door handles and simply moving onto the next car when they find it is locked. If a suspect does use force to enter a car, it is usually because they see something that either is valuable (IPAD) or appears to be valuable (laptop case). They do not want to make noise by using force because it draws the attention of you and then the police. The simple act of locking doors will have a huge impact on our problem.
2. CLOSE AND LOCK YOUR GARAGE DOORS. In several cases so far where cars have been stolen, stolen bikes have been left in their place. Suspects that commit auto thefts and theft from autos will often steal a bike or a car before going out on their crime spree. Many of these bikes are stolen from unlocked and open garage doors. By locking your garage door, you also prevent a suspect that gains access to your car from using the garage door opener to enter your garage and steal additional property.
3. CALL THE POLICE WHEN YOU OBSERVE SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR. Nearly all of the suspects we arrest for thefts from autos are carrying backpacks. Many are riding bikes. Some will be seen driving a car slowly through the neighborhood before parking and getting out on foot. Most are on neighborhood streets very late at night and into the early morning hours. Most are in their teens and early twenties. Some travel in groups. If you see any of these behaviors, you need to call us immediately. You are our eyes and our ears. Several of our arrests were made because of exactly these types of calls to our 911 center. Call 911 for a crime in progress or 301-279-8000 for suspicious situations. Let us take care of the rest!