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Auto Burglary

Statistics:

  • In 2009, there were 1,298 auto burglaries reported in Norman
  • In 2000 there were 536 auto burglaries reported in Norman

Common Trends:

  • Most auto burglaries occur during hours of darkness
  • Most of the offenders gained entry into the vehicle through an unlocked door
  • Most offenders target vehicles that have valuable items left in plain sight, such as a purse, wallet, credit card, cell hone, and digital music players
  • Is it common for an offender to use a stolen credit card at gas stations and stores almost immediately after gaining possession of a credit card
  • It is common for an offender to remove a remote garage door opener from a vehicle in order to attempt to access the victim’s house at a later time

Prevention suggestions:

  • Lock your vehicle and secure the windows before leaving your vehicle unattended
  • Park in a well lit area
  • Have your vehicle windows tinted
  • Park your vehicle in a garage if possible
  • Do not leave valuable items in your vehicle
  • Avoid leaving a remote garage door opener in your vehicle
  • Equip and arm your vehicle with an audible alarm system
  • Purchase an in-dash CD player with a removable faceplate and remove the faceplate upon leaving your vehicle

What to do if something is stolen out of your car:

  • Do not touch or mess with anything in, on, or around the car
  • Call the police as soon as possible to report the incident
  • When you speak with the police communications officer, you will be asked your name, location and address where the incident occurred.
  • Start writing down what you notice missing after the police officer has examined your vehicle
  • Gather the serial numbers for anything that may have had a number on it that was taken out of the car
  • The police officer will want to know:
    • make and model of your
    • year of your car
    • the timeframe in which the burglary occurred
    • if you know of any possible suspects
    • the officer will process your car for fingerprints and possibly even tool marks
    • the officer may ask you if certain things in and around your car belong to you

Depending on what was taken be sure to call your credit card companies, cell phone companies, credit reporting agencies (to put a flag on you account) and you may even have locks re-keyed if keys were stolen.

Most thieves do not stop at just one vehicle; they like to burglarize multiple vehicles for the purpose of maximizing their gain. Not only does reporting an auto burglary to the police increase your chances of recovering your property, it assists the Norman Police Department in detecting criminal patterns. Many thieves have been linked to multiple auto burglaries through statistical patterning.

REMEMBER: Always lock your car doors and never leave your keys or anything of value in your car.