For Immediate Release
August 26, 2015
Lt. Dave Shaffer, 217-403-7030, firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT:
Robberies and Burglaries to Motor Vehicles
The Champaign Police Department provides this alert as notice to residents and our campus community of a rash of robberies and motor vehicle burglaries that have occurred during the month of August. Citizens are encouraged to be aware, to be alert, and to immediately report any unusual or suspicious activity that you may witness to the Police.
Please see the (2) attached maps that detail the reported crimes.
ROBBERIES. From August 1-23, there have been 11 reported robberies in Champaign. 5 of these robberies occurred within the past seven days, with 4 of them being on/near campus. All of the incidents have occurred on Fri/Sat/Sun.
#BeAware #BeAlert #ReportSuspiciousActivity
Safety Walking Tips:
- If possible, do not walk alone at night.
- If you are traveling alone with no other means of transportation, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) provides designated “335 SafeRides” from dusk until 6:00 AM. Call MTD for more details on boarding and route limitations: 217-265-7433.
- University of Illinois students are also encouraged to take advantage of the campus’s SafeWalks Escort Service, which is available to students for short walking trips on campus by calling 217.333.1216.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious in the direction you are heading, change your route.
- Stay away from poorly lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts down dark alleyways or paths. Choose well-lit, heavily traveled sidewalks.
- Pay extra attention to places along your path that could conceal a criminal (shrubbery, recesses, etc.) Avoid these areas as best as possible.
- Carry a personal alarm or whistle that can be used to let those around you know when something is wrong.
- Carry yourself with confidence. Keep your head up and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with those you pass. Walk facing traffic to keep yourself visible.
- Do not use headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking alone at night as this reduces your awareness of your surroundings.
- Trust your gut. If you become concerned or uncomfortable about your surroundings, go to a nearby store, restaurant, or public space that is well-lit and safe.
- For your safety and the possible safety of others, call the Police if you notice any suspicious activity.
BURGLARIES to MOTOR VEHICLES. From August 1-23, there have been 50 Burglaries to Motor Vehicles (BMVs), with16 of these cases occurring in the past seven days. The days and times of these incidents vary from day to day. Almost all of these vehicles have been unlocked and items have been in plain view (purses, electronics, etc). From June 1 to August 23, there have been a total of 180 BMVs in Champaign alone.
Safety Tips for Vehicles:
- Always lock your vehicle doors and take the keys with you when not in use, even in your driveway.
- Don’t leave vehicles running unoccupied.
- Do not leave unattended personal belongings in plain sight, no matter where you are parked.
- Install alarms and/or “kill switch” devices in vehicles for added security.
- When leaving your vehicle, remove GPS, Bluetooth, and other equipment from plain view and lock it in your trunk.
- Don’t leave mail in your vehicle with the address label visible.
- At night, park your vehicle in a well-lit and visible place.
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