CHICAGO (CBS) — Police in one southwest suburb plan to stick a lot of paper on the windshields of cars this spring. They’re not tickets however. As CBS2’s Mike Parker reports they are messages intended to fight crime.
Next time you park and leave your car unlocked in Oak Forest, you may find a strong but friendly reminder from police to “Lock It or Lose It.”
Oak Forest Police Chief Greg Anderson calls theft from vehicles, “Our largest preventable crime.” Anderson says 80 percent of car burglaries in his town come from unlocked cars and trucks.
“The whole idea of Lock It or Lose It” he says, “is to basically harden the target, make it inconvenient for the people who want to steal items out of your car, as you possibly can.”
Soon, his officers will be placing notices on vehicles that are found to be unlocked. There’s a checklist of what was observed, such as ‘vehicle unlocked, unlocked with keys in view, and valuables in plain view.’
But when the vehicle is found to be locked up, police offer their congratulations.
The first driver we approached outside a convenience store, conceded he had left it unlocked when he went inside to buy a cup of coffee. “I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. “It’s habit. You don’t lock your vehicle when you leave it.”
Chief Anderson calls car burglaries, “something we can target and make a difference on.”
What’s to prevent thieves from looking for those windshield notices and then striking? Police say they will flood an entire parking lot or neighborhood with scores of the notices. Every vehicle, locked or unlocked will get them. Those criminals, who rely on stealing quickly won’t have time to find likely targets.
That’s the theory.