The Little Rock Police Department released this report on times and places for a recent series of breaking and entering thefts from automobiles in the area covered by the downtown patrol division — 38 between March 28 and April 17. Many occurred while people were entertaining themselves — in the River Market, Robinson Auditorium and The Rep.
Too late for me. I'm ashamed to admit no break-in was necessary for someone to open the door and nab the small digital camera I'd left sitting in a cup holder in my unlocked car while parked in the Main Street parking deck earlier this week. Enjoy those pix of the Vatican, pal.
The police promise an intensive effort to combat the break-ins. Undercover cops, cops on Segways, "bait cars" and other tactics will be used. (Car thefts aren't the only issue. A reader mentions a mugging of her mother recently near the Clinton Library gift shop. She thinks more cop patrols in a heavily touristed area might be a good idea.) More details:
When examining the data it is obvious that a major portion of the auto B & E reports are in Patrol District 40 which is the downtown area. Many of the B & E incidents occurred during events at the Robinson Center, The Rep Theater and the River Market. Beginning today the LRPD will set up teams to work on these crimes. We will use uniformed patrol officers, bicycle officers, officers on horse back, officers on Segways, and undercover officers to stop these crimes. We will also be using bait cars as part of our tactics to stop these crimes. If you are a criminal and you are thinking about breaking in a vehicle, you need to know that that vehicle may be a bait car under the observation of LRPD Officers. The effort will not just be in the Downtown area alone, but will include the entire city. As LRPD data identifies areas where auto B & E crimes occur in the city, we will attack that area as well to arrest the suspects.
In many cases these crimes are being committed by a very small group of criminals. When we make arrest the number of crimes goes down quickly. Sadly many of these criminals do not stay in jail long due to our overcrowding and they return to continue their trade. As we identify these suspects we can track their activity and make additional arrests.
To help us make sure these crimes stop we offer the following safety tips.
· Never leave anything of value visible in your car
· Remove GPS devices that are visible
· Always lock your car doors and set the alarm
· Never leave your wallet, purse, or money in your vehicle
· Carry your cell phone in your hand and be ready to use it when walking to your car
· Always be aware of where you are and where your car is parked
· Park in lighted areas whenever possible
· If you see suspicious people or activity call police immediately
Working together we can stop criminals in their tracks.