Public Safety Message: Residential and Motor Vehicle Burglaries

Media Contact: Deputy Chief Troy Daniels | 217-403-6909 | troy.daniels@champaignil.gov

The Champaign Police Department provides this message as notice to residents of a continued increase in crimes involving residential and motor vehicle burglaries.  Citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, to have security measures in place to help in burglary prevention efforts, and to lock car doors.

From January 1 – October 31, 2016 there have been 522 Residential Burglaries and 532 Burglaries to Motor Vehicles (BMVs)—more than a 43% increase as compared to last year.  Locations of the burglaries have been scattered throughout the city and nearly all of the reported vehicle burglaries have occurred to unlocked vehicles.

“The increase in crime is obviously a concern for us,” shared Deputy Chief Troy Daniels. “Our officers have been conducting extra patrol details, 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 gain any information that may be helpful in our investigations.  We’re doing everything we can to address these concerns and seek the public’s support in tackling these issues.”

Police report that the BMVs have largely been crimes of opportunity where most suspects have only advanced to burglarize a vehicle if they’ve found it unlocked.  Citizens can make a strong impact in this area, simply by locking their car doors and hiding any valuables.

Community members are encouraged to remain alert in their neighborhood, to look out for one another, and if you see something, say something. “Especially in times like these when we’re seeing such a spike, it’s important for citizens to be connected to their neighborhood watch groups and to not be reserved about contacting police,” added Daniels.  “You never know when a small piece of information makes connection to solve a crime or help catch a suspect.”

Since January 1 of this year, Police have made 92 arrests for burglary cases, with fifty-eight of those arrests for BMVs and 39 for residential burglaries.  Of those, police have arrested 44 different people for BMV crimes, with 34 of the individuals being under the age of 18.  Thirty-five different people have been arrested for residential burglaries, with ten suspects under the age 18.

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 www.373tips.com; 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.

 

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