By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Most people would not put a sign in their vehicle offering free valuables to anyone who walks by and happens to look in the window. Too many people however, leave MP3 players, tablets, smartphones, portable GPS receivers and other valuables lying in plain view in their vehicle asking for someone to take it.
Despite Colorado Springs’ recent Forbes.com No. 8 ranking of America’s safest city, property crime (which among other crimes includes burglary, larceny, theft and motor vehicle theft) is still committed in the city.
Theft, or any crime for that matter, is unlikely to occur at Schriever Air Force Base, assures Senior Airman Jessica Riley, 50th Security Forces Squadron crime prevention.
“There really isn’t a lot of crime on Schriever, but that doesn’t mean people should leave themselves open to be a victim,” she said.
Leaving property in plain view in vehicles is the easiest way to become a victim, Riley explained.
“We see it all the time; MP3 players, GPS receivers and purses left in plain sight in vehicles,” said Riley. “The worst is seeing restricted area badges on lanyards hanging on rearview mirrors. People should really put all that stuff away. If they have a sedan, put all valuables in the trunk and keep that locked. If you don’t have a trunk, put valuables under the seat or in the glove compartment. Out of sight, out of mind really works in these types of cases.”
Another common practice, especially on cold Colorado mornings, is to leave cars unattended while they warm.
“A lot of vehicles get stolen that way,” said Riley. “Early in the morning, if you go out and start your vehicle, leave the keys in it and then go back inside, you are opening yourself to be out of a vehicle.”
The Colorado Springs Police Department website offers these vehicle and additional parking safety tips for citizens.
• Keep your vehicle in good mechanical condition to avoid breakdowns.
• Use common sense, lock your doors and roll windows up when driving through unsafe areas.
• Never give rides to strangers.
• Keep valuable items covered or locked in the trunk.
• Do not get in the habit of traveling the same way to work every day. (It becomes predictable)
• Park your vehicle near exits, entrances and lighted areas.
• Lock your vehicle when parked. (Make sure you have the keys)
• Do not hide extra vehicle keys on the outside of your vehicle. (Thieves look for them)
Schriever base housing residents should keep personal property protection on the forefront of their mind. Riley suggests making a list of all high value items in the residence and then putting the list in an uncommon place.
“You should also scratch or permanently mark a personal identifiable marking into the item,” said Riley. “This helps to make a detailed report if anything ever does get taken.”
If any Schriever members happen to see or hear about a crime, they should report it to the Schriever Crime Stoppers at 567-5643.
By following a few tips, Schriever members can better protect themselves against property crimes.