By Chief Don Hutson
It may come as a surprise to some of you that the most common property crime we investigate in Riverton is vehicle burglary, commonly referred to as a “car break-in”. Typically, vehicles are being targeted in the middle of the night parked in the driveway or in front of the victim’s house. The number of car prowls we see on a monthly basis is double the number of reported shoplifting cases. Our graveyard patrol officers spend much of their time proactively patrolling and looking for suspicious vehicles and persons in our neighborhoods. We catch a good number of suspects in the act of burglarizing vehicles, but we are greatly outnumbered by those looking for an easy score.
One of the major reasons criminals spend so much of their time breaking into vehicles is the fact they can make a big score with relatively little risk of a confrontation with an angry property owner. I am often surprised to hear the value of items citizens leave in their vehicles parked in their driveway or in front of their house overnight. Also, I am shocked at the number of firearms stolen from vehicles left out at night. Many of the vehicles burglarized don’t even require the suspect to break a window because they are left unlocked.
The good news is, you can make a difference and help reduce the number of vehicle burglaries in our community if you make it less lucrative for the thieves. The most effective step you can take to lessen the incentive of would-be burglars is to take a little extra time and remove anything of value from your vehicle, and lock it, before leaving it unattended, especially if you are parking it for the night.
Also, be aware vehicle burglaries are also common at places of business and can happen very quickly. Be sure to lock your doors and keep valuable items out of sight.
Please follow these simple suggestions and help us keep Riverton one of the safest cities in Salt Lake County by making it more difficult for thieves to victimize our citizenry.