Public Safety Alert: Residential and Motor Vehicle Burglaries

Media Contact:  Lt. Dave Shaffer | 217-403-7030 | [email protected]

The Champaign Police Department provides this alert as notice to residents of an increase in crimes involving residential and motor vehicle burglaries.  Citizens are encouraged to be aware of your surroundings and to have security measures in place to help in burglary prevention efforts.

Since January 1, 2016 there have been 337 Residential Burglaries and 403 Burglaries to Motor Vehicles (BMVs)—more than a 40% increase in both categories, as compared to last year.  Locations of the burglaries are scattered throughout the city, with the Southwest District seeing approximately 10% more reported burglaries than the other police districts.  Nearly all of the reported vehicle burglaries have occurred to unlocked vehicles.

Police have been conducting street patrols and burglary details, especially in harder hit areas, which have resulted in 73 arrests since January 1 of this year.  Forty-five of those arrests have been for BMVs and 28 for residential burglaries.

Patrol Deputy Chief Joe Gallo shares that police are taking additional steps to address the crimes and ask for citizen support to “see something, say something.”

“We’re doing everything possible to address this concern head on.  In addition to the extra patrol details, our increased efforts include proactively notifying residents when we see opportunity for them to better secure their property, and conducting door-to-door canvasses after a burglary report to try to gain any information that may help in our investigations,” said Deputy Chief Gallo.  “I can’t stress enough the value of our citizen partners remaining alert in their neighborhoods and reporting anything unusual or suspicious to the police.”

During an in-progress emergency, citizens are urged to call 9-1-1.  To submit a police report, call METCAD non-emergency at 217-333-8911.

If you are witness to a burglary or other crime and do not want to contact Police directly, anonymous tips can also be shared via Crime Stoppers by calling 217-373-8477 (TIPS); reporting online at; or by texting “CCTIP” plus the crime information to 274637 (CRIMES). Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Champaign Police offer the following security tips to help in protecting your valuables and to help prevent burglaries:

Prevention Tips for Homes:

  • Always lock exterior doors when you are at home
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked
  • Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed in such a way that you can see through them and over them so burglars can’t hide in the shadows; they should be cut below your windows and away from doors
  • Make it time-consuming for a burglar to break into your home by installing deadbolts, double key lock and additional locks on all windows and patio doors
  • Secure any sliding doors; make sure the lock is in working order; place a steel rod, broomstick, or dowel inside the door channel
  • Do not leave your property unattended, such as bicycles, or lawn equipment outside of your home
  • Make sure the exterior of your house is well-lit at night to discourage burglars
  • Keep records of serial numbers for valuables such as stereos, bicycles and sports equipment
  • Purchase a home engraving kit to mark your property
  • Make sure all windows and exterior doors are locked when leaving your home
  • Consider a burglar alarm system; check with several different companies before you buy so you can decide what level of security fits your needs
  • Instead of leaving a hidden key, give a key to a trusted neighbor or a nearby family member/friend

Prevention Tips for Vehicles:

  • Always lock your vehicle doors and take the keys with you when not in use, even in your driveway
  • Do not leave vehicles running unoccupied
  • Do not leave unattended personal belongings (phone, purse, wallet, electronics, etc) in plain sight inside your vehicle, no matter where it is parked
  • Consider installing alarms and/or “kill switch” devices in vehicles
  • When leaving your vehicle, remove GPS, Bluetooth, and other equipment from plain view and lock it in your trunk
  • Do not leave mail in your vehicle with the address label visible